Gambling can be enjoyed by everyone, but many people associate it with luxury, glamour and the very rich. It’s not hard to see why; the most famous casinos all over the world are aimed squarely at attracting the 1%. Images of billionaires landing by helicopter at private pads atop hotels in Macau, Las Vegas, and Singapore hint at the type of lifestyle you could have if you were to hit the jackpot.
But far from making casinos the exclusive playground of the rich and famous, they have become aspirational venues; anyone can go and play and for a few hours feel like they are part of the elite. These incredible buildings are designed to attract the elite, with the very best in architecture, design, and facilities. Of course, all that comes with a hefty price tag, so if you’re going to visit, make sure you choose one of the best venues.
The Bellagio, Las Vegas
Caption: People come from all over to watch the dancing fountains outside The Bellagio.
The most famous hotel on The Strip, the Bellagio is instantly recognisable thanks to its inclusion in the 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven. You can follow in the footsteps of Brad Pitt and George Clooney as you walk through the stunning casino floor. Most people know about the famous dancing fountains which take centre stage outside the front of the hotel, but there’s plenty more entertainment on offer inside. The Bellagio has its own art gallery which hosts limited, intimate exhibitions featuring the best art from all over the world.
The casino itself offers a range of table games including roulette, pai gow, and baccarat, as well as dedicated poker rooms and banks of slot machines. There are also private high roller tables where you might be able to catch a glimpse of a more famous face. The casino is open to non-residents, so if you choose to stay at a different Las Vegas hotel, you can still get the luxury experience and enjoy the public amenities.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Caption: The laser light show at the Marina Bay Sands is visible from all over the city.
The Marina Bay Sands is a wonder of architectural design, both inside and out. Its distinctive appearance of three towers joined at the top by a rooftop infinity pool and Skydeck has been a standout figure of the Singapore skyline since it opened in 2010. The hotel offers top class facilities including rooftop yoga, the Banyan Tree spa, and the in-house art and science museum.
The casino itself spans four floors with balconies running around a central area, all trimmed in luxurious red and gold. There are more than 600 table games and 2,300 slot machines, providing plenty of entertainment for everyone. One of the most popular offerings is Blackjack, the Marina Bay Sands give you the choice of two variations: standard and Lucky 8. Once, poker was the most popular card game, but blackjack has seen a surge in popularity over the last few years due to the growth of online play. Nothing beats sitting around a real table though, and the Marina Bay Sands is one of the best places to play.
Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco
Caption: The Casino de Monte Carlo has remained unchanged for over 100 years.
Monaco is truly the playground of the rich, and this casino is one of the main attractions. Designed and built in the late 1850s, the Casino de Monte Carlo was the brainchild of Princess Caroline who saw it as a was to replenish the country’s depleted treasury – and it turned out to be a very shrewd decision indeed.
Today the casino stands as an excellent example of belle epoque architecture, with very little having changed from its original designs. Steeped in marble and gold, it is the very epitome of extravagance. You can tour the casino in the morning to look around and take in the view, but the floor doesn’t open until 2pm. Popular table games and slot machines are all available, but the richest clientele will be secreted away in the salons privés and salons super-privés, where pretty much anything goes.
The Venetian Macau, China
Caption: The Venetian Macau blends traditional Venetian architecture with modern designs.
This list wouldn’t be complete without including a venue in Macau – dubbed the ‘Las Vegas of Asia’. This popular gambling hotspot has really established itself as the place to be for high rollers and professionals alike, and The Venetian Hotel and Casino is the biggest spectacle on offer. With replicas of several Venetian landmarks, including the canal network where you can take a gondola ride around the complex, the casino is the second largest in the world, with 546,000 square feet of gambling luxury.
The casino is divided into four different gaming areas, each with a distinctive Asian theme. Once inside you will find 800 table games and 6,000 slot machines, as well as a children’s arcade where your little ones can play too.
These are just a few of the many luxury casinos and hotels dotted across the globe, which seek to attract the most exclusive clientele. If you’re in the neighbourhood and what to spend a few hours seeing how the other half live, dropping into one of these venues is a great way to do so.