To the gambling novice, it’s all too easy to think of Las Vegas as the only place across the globe to visit world-class casinos. While the city does have a huge range of iconic casinos, there’s a host of amazing facilities dotted elsewhere.
Whether its high-rolling fun, relaxed gambling or a party scene you’re looking for, you shouldn’t forget the basics of what makes a casino great. That’s choice and a variety of games available, that cater to every taste and demographics.
Here is your ultimate guide to the five best casinos to visit around the globe.
Casino De Monte Carlo (Monte Carlo, Monaco)
Despite their best efforts of imitation, American casinos will never be able to recreate the beauty of this 19th-century venue. The idea of opening a dedicated casino in Monaco was first pioneered by Princess Caroline, in an attempt to avoid financial ruin for the ailing Monegasque economy.
Princess Caroline was incredibly successful at boosting the economy of Monaco with this casino as it brought in tourists from across Europe. Colonial superpowers such as France, Germany and Britain at this time accounted for the highest number of visitors, as rich, upper-class people chose Monte Carlo as their opulent playground.
It’s also been featured in some of the biggest Hollywood productions, having appeared in several incarnations of James Bond, as well as Ocean’s Twelve to name but a few.
The traditional game Craps is incredibly popular in this stunning casino, owned by the Societe des bains de mer de Monaco, making it a must-visit for casino enthusiasts. In a normal run-of-the-mill casino, you’d be lucky to find even one table – even though this amazing dice-based game has had players on the edge of their seats since it was developed in the US in the 19th century.
Craps is one of the most prevalent games at both land-based and best real money online casinos, the latter of which have really upped their games in terms of gaming graphics, speeds and performance. However, before heading to a reputable online casino to get your Craps practice in, make sure you read esteemed casino author John Grochowski’s expert guide about how to play craps, which explains the difference between one-roll and multi-roll bets and provides sure-fire tips to improve your chances of winning.
Montecasino (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Opened: 2000 at a cost of R1.6 billion (£86.5 million)
This fabulous casino, owned by Tsogo Sun, is widely regarded as the best in South Africa. Situated in Northern Johannesburg, the entire leisure complex covers an impressive 26 hectares of land and has been designed to replicate an ancient Tuscan village.
Inside the main casino, look upwards and you’ll see a fake sky painted on the ceiling, going from light on one side, to dark on the other. Further developments have seen the addition of the Teatro, which is one of the 10 largest lyric theatres in the world. The pivot was added in 2010, in anticipation of the football World Cup and it features office, retail and hotel space for guests.
Once they’ve finished relaxing, gamers can head into the Montecasino and try out a plethora of slot games, Blackjack, Poker, Roulette and many more classic card games.
Casino De Montreal (Montreal, Canada)
Simply known as Montreal Casino to locals, this venue is one of the largest gambling centres in the world, with a capacity of almost 4,000 people. Gamers in this casino can immerse themselves in over 3,200 slot machines, as well as 120 different gaming tables, across over three different floors.
In homage to some of the European forefathers of gambling, the Casino de Montreal is known for its hospitality. In fact, customer service is something that the Societe des casinos du Quebec – its owners – believe gives them the edge over other casinos in North America. The design of the venue is must-see as well. The big open windows, low floors and ornate features make this a great casino to game in.
In recent years, the rise of online gambling has seen an increase in the popularity of online slot games. Casino de Montreal has ensured that their business hasn’t missed a trick in appealing to a new generation of gamblers, brought up on online slot machine gambling, tailoring electronic slot machines to have more of a visual appeal, like those online.
The Venetian (Las Vegas, USA)
Opened: 1999 at a cost of $1.5 billion
Our first and only visit to the Nevada desert takes us to the stunning Venetian Casino. As the name would suggest, its design is inspired by the mesmeric floating Italian city of Venice.
The complex is absolutely huge and standing at 36 stories high, it really stands out on the Las Vegas landscape. Inside, the architects have managed to steer clear of the bawdy tack of other Las Vegas casinos and instead have fostered a classy atmosphere.
To encapsulate the true feeling of Venice, guests can take a gondola ride around the casino as they circumnavigate the enormous venue. It’s a smart move by the casino designers and owners Las Vegas Sands, as it’s much harder to get up and leave a casino with a fully-functioning gondola service than it is a normal one.
Visitors won’t want to leave the Venetian in a hurry, as along with its gambling tables, it offers a huge range of shops, restaurants and bars. Even if you’re down on your luck at the roulette table, you can always unwind elsewhere in the casino.
Atlantic City was originally established as a health resort in the 19th century, but now it’s home to towering buildings, impressive architecture and celebrity intrigue. The Borgata Hotel & Casino is in perfect equilibrium with the vibe of Atlantic City.
The hotel, which is owned by MGM International, first opened its doors in 2003 and was built in a style which takes inspiration from both Tuscan and Modernism themes. The main tower of the resort is the third-largest building in Atlantic City and cuts an impressive figure on the landscape with its façade of reflective gold glass.
As the name in the sub-heading suggests, there is also a hotel built into the resort, which cost an estimated $400 million to complete. The hotel is nicknamed ‘The Water Club’ and has a two-story spa in it called ‘Immersion’ – as well as a selection of boutique retail outlets.
Not content at that, the owners of Borgata decided to renovate Festival Park in 2016 at a reported cost of $14 million. The venue holds up to 4,500 people and brings a real Las Vegas vibe. If you want to take luxury to the next level, you can take advantage of one of Borgata’s private jets that fly guests in from all across America.
Of course, these are just a handful of the amazing casinos you’ll find scattered across the world, offering pulsating gaming action and breathtaking views, as well as fun, friendly atmospheres for visitors. While many experts are predicting the future to be with online casinos at the expense of land-based ones, these five stand-out highlights show there’s life in bricks and mortar yet.