Casino destinations used to strictly be about one thing – gambling.
But the global spread of casinos has forced gaming destinations to diversify in order to continue attracting visitors.
This is a good thing because casino hubs offer so much more than just blackjack and slot machines today. Now, gaming takes a backseat to lavish resorts, tourist attractions, nightclubs, and fine dining establishments.
If you’re looking for casino destinations that offer much more than just gambling, then you’ll want to check out the following spots.
1. Las Vegas
It may be cliché to put Las Vegas at the top list. But there are many reasons why Vegas continues ruling over other casino destinations.
The biggest of these reasons is that Sin City has done better than any other casino hub at diversifying their attractions.
You can find some of the world’s hottest nightclubs and finest restaurants in Vegas. This is why many people come to Las Vegas even when they have no intention of gambling.
Of course, Vegas has a number of other famous attractions beyond just restaurants and clubs. Here are a few of the many things you can enjoy here:
- Cirque du Soliel
- Fashion Show Mall
- Fremont Street Experience (concerts, mall, zip line & more)
- Mob Museum
- Neon Museum
- Shark Reef (Mandalay Bay)
- Adventuredome (amusement park at Circus Circus)
- Driving racecars
- Grand Canyon (nearby in Arizona)
- Indoor skydiving
- Red Rock Canyon
Keep in mind that this is just a small portion of the list. And you can enjoy many other activities in Vegas.
But perhaps the most amazing thing about this city is the Vegas Strip. Home to 15 of the world’s largest and most-lavish casino resorts, the Strip is certainly worth strolling down your first time in Vegas.
It also doesn’t hurt matters that Sin City has over 100 casinos. This doesn’t even include the numerous gas stations, restaurants, and convenience stores that have slot machines on standby.
Macau may not compete with Vegas in terms of casino volume or side attractions. But what they do have is a number of massive casino resorts that draw gamblers from all corners of the globe.
Here are some of the huge resorts in this special administrative area of China:
- Casino Lisboa
- City of Dreams
- Galaxy Cotai
- Greek Mythology Casino
- MGM Macau
- Sands Macau
- Venetian Macao
- Wynn Macau
The Venetian Macao highlights the bunch because it impresses in terms of both size and amenities.
This $2.4 billion resort features 3,400 slot machines and 800 table games spread across 550,000 square feet. The Venetian also houses over 3,000 hotel rooms that are decorated with an authentic Italian touch.
Some of the key attractions here include dozens of retail shops, a play zone, swimming pools, and indoor Venetian canals.
The Wynn Macau is another spectacle, featuring 840 slot machines and 500 table games sprawled across a 100,000-square-foot gaming floor. Visitors can choose from over 1,000 luxury hotel rooms when they’re not on the casino floor.
Again, Macau doesn’t offer as much non-gambling entertainment as Vegas. But this former Portuguese colony does have some unique attractions, including the Macau Tower, Ruins of St. Paul’s, Senado Square, and St. Dominic’s Church.
3. Monte Carlo (Monaco)
The first thing to love about Monte Carlo is its breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. The city is located at the base of the Maritime Alps, giving you a higher view of the sea at many points.
You’ll especially appreciate Monte Carlo when considering that it has served as a prominent filming location for movies like Grace of Monaco, Heartbreaker, and the James Bond flicks Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye.
As for gambling, Monaco features the luxurious Casino de Monte-Carlo. This venue is all about wealth and extravagance, from its fancy chandeliers to giant murals and paintings on the walls.
Games that you can look forward to playing here include baccarat, blackjack, and chemin de fer (early variation of baccarat). Take note that only foreigners can play at Casino de Monte-Carlo and all foreigners are banned.
Other things to do in Monte Carlo include the Exotic Garden, Monaco Cathedral, Museum of Antique Automobiles, Prince’s Palace, Princess Grace Rose Garden, and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.
Singapore features two huge casinos in Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
Marina Bay Sands is the most eye-catching because it has three hotel towers with a rooftop deck (SkyPark) located on top.
The SkyPark has the world’s largest elevated swimming pool (146 meters long), nightclubs, a public observatory deck, and botanical gardens.
On the ground, Marina Bay Sands features over 300 shops, canals (just like Venetian Macao), the Grande Theatre, 2,500 hotel rooms, and a large gaming floor. The casino offers 1,400 slot machines and 1,000 table games.
Resorts World Sentosa houses six hotel towers and a number of attractions over 120 acres. Notable attractions here include the Marine Life Park, Maritime Experiential Museum, Universal Studios Singapore, the ESPA spa, and the Universal Studios theme park.
The Resorts World Casino floor has 2,400 slot machines and 500 table games. Keep in mind that foreigners can get into the casino free, but locals have to pay $100 for a daily pass.
The Bahamas is already a great vacation destination thanks to its sandy white beaches and clear blue waters. And this island country is even more attractive when you consider that they have one of the most-famous casino resorts in Atlantis Casino on Paradise Island.
Atlantis Casino offers 1,800 slot machines and 800 table games. It also features a Sky Terrace that lets players enjoy slot machines in a room with beautiful scenic views.
Other spots to appreciate outside the casino include a large golf course, bars, restaurants, spa, and waterparks.
If you’re looking for more-modest casinos, then you can try Crown Royal Oasis, Crystal Palace, Isle of Capri, and the Bahamas Princess Resort. Crystal Palace is the largest of these with its 700 slot machines and 40 table games.
London isn’t often looked at as a casino destination because it’s famous for so many other things. But the UK capital does have a large gambling scene that includes 20 casinos.
Some notable London casinos include Aspers, the Casino at the Empire, Crockfords, Hippodrome Casino, and The Ritz Club.
None of these casinos compare to the massive resorts in Macau, Las Vegas, or Singapore in terms of size and amenities. But the architecture and timely feel of these venues offers a different atmosphere than many gaming locations.
Crockfords is a perfect example because this casino features small, intimate rooms that make it feel as if you’re gambling in a mansion.
The Ritz Club offers a similar feel with its chandeliers, posh couches, and decorative couches. Just make sure that you meet the dress code if you go to either Crockfords or The Ritz.
While the unique casinos are nice, the biggest reason to visit London is definitely the historic sites and attractions. Here’s a list of what you can enjoy in London:
- Big Ben
- Buckingham Palace
- Camden (cultural neighborhood)
- Hampstead Heath (park)
- Leicester Square
- London Bridge
- London Eye
- Piccadilly Circus (entertainment district)
- Shoreditch (nightlife district)
- Soho (nightlife district)
- Thames Cruise
7. Atlantic City
Atlantic City was once a serious rival to Las Vegas. But the East Coast casino hub fell on tough times from the late 2000s to the mid-2010s.
Several casinos closed during this down period. However, the good news is that the consolidated market is back to profitability.
You can still find a large concentration of casinos in Atlantic City, including Bally’s, the Borgata, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Harrah’s, Resorts, and Tropicana.
The Borgata is the most impressive of the bunch because it features 4,000 slot machines and 180 table games. You can also enjoy various nightclubs and restaurants here along with the world-famous Spa Toccare.
Harrah’s is another impressive casino with its 5,500 slot machines, 140 table games, and 177,000-square-foot gaming floor. This resort also has over a dozen restaurants, several stores, and the Pool at Harrah’s.
Non-gambling attractions in Atlantic City include the following:
- Absecon Lighthouse
- Atlantic City Boardwalk
- Atlantic City Aquarium
- Lucy the Elephant
- Quarter at Tropicana
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not! (museum)
- Steel Pier
Atlantic City’s attractions aren’t quite what you’ll find in London or Vegas. But there are enough things to do around Atlantic City to support the casinos.
As mentioned before, more and more casinos are spreading across the globe. But there are still countries and territories that could be budding casino destinations in the future.
My top picks include Brazil and Japan.
Japanese gambling currently breaks down into lotteries, pachinko parlors, and underground casinos. This is a far cry from the thriving gambling scenes that many other developed countries feature today.
But Japan legalized casino gaming in 2016 and is in the process of figuring out the licensing and market.
The Land of the Rising Sun should have major gaming resorts open by the mid-2020s. And when this happens, the wealthy island country of 126.7 million will have access to casinos for the first time.
Brazil is still in the beginning of their casino journey. Las Vegas Sands and Caesars Entertainment are currently speaking with government officials, who seem hopeful about passing casino legislation.
This is a lucrative potential market as well because 207.4 million people live in Brazil. The only problem is that casinos are currently illegal in the country, meaning that we’re likely over a decade away from any major gambling venues being available.
But when Brazil and Japan do have casinos available, it’ll be interesting to see how they compare to the destinations that we covered on this list.