When we think of land-based casinos, we think of glamour and sophistication, men in black tie and women in gorgeous cocktail dresses. Cocktails and cigars, piles of chips on a high stakes poker table, or beautiful people gathered excitedly around the Roulette wheel also almost always come to mind.
While not all casinos live up to these glamorous expectations, there are 5 that have undoubtedly set the trend for being world-class gambling destinations. Some have earned their name by featuring in award winning movies, others through a solid and well-deserved reputation for luxury, opulence and variety.
First and foremost of these is the Bellagio on the main strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a location that’s featured in a slew of blockbuster movies such as Oceans 11 and The Hangover, few casinos have seen as much silver screen time as the Bellagio. With their famous dancing fountains and beautifully designed interior, it’s no surprise this casino is a world favourite.
The Bellagio is owned by MGM Resorts International and opened its doors in 1997. The Italian inspired building is 36 stories high and houses everything from a full casino floor to a fine art gallery and Cirque Du Soleil theatre. The Bellagio is also the favourite destination of the world’s greatest poker players and is the location of the famous Big Game. The stakes of The Big Game can range from $4000 to $8000, and the pot has been known to frequently reach over $1million!
Casino de Monte Carlo
Following hot on its heels is the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco. Nothing says sophistication quite like a bow tie wearing James Bond sipping his signature martini, shaken not stirred, in this exclusive gaming venue.
The Monte Carlo formed the backdrop of the famous Bond film, Casino Royale, but what few know about the casino is that the planning stages of the complex started as far back as 1854, when Princess Caroline of Monaco conceived of the idea. Officially, the casino opened its doors in 1863 but it was only in 1913 that the complex was named Monte Carlo, as a name seen to be more attractive to visitors.
It certainly worked, as it’s one of the longest standing casinos in operation today, at over 150 years old. Despite the large variety of slot machines available, Casino de Monte Carlo is better known for its table games and has hosted the first seven seasons of the European Poker Tour Grand Final.
The Venetian Macau
While these two casinos may have the most movie credits, none can rival the Venetian Macau in Macau, East Asia, for sheer size. Covering over 536,000 square feet, this mammoth casino has almost literally everything a player could ask for.
True to its name, the Venetian is themed on the romance and beauty of Venice, and has a gondola traversed canal running throughout the complex. Complete with 3 large shopping areas, an entertainment arena and more than 27 restaurants and bars, players have an enormous range of distractions to enjoy when taking a break from the over 3000 casino tables. This casino offers a truly decadent experience, and you could literally get lost in its glorious Venetian themed avenues.
While perhaps not the biggest, or the most famous of the world-class casinos, Sun City at the Lost City in South Africa can never be left off any top 5 list. With its exotic location close to some of the most popular safari destinations, Sun City is an African themed resort that offers so much more than just a game of Poker.
In between games, players can take advantage of two 18-hole golf courses designed by golf champion Gary Player, or enjoy a safari in the Pilansberg National Park. That being said, with over 1000 slot machines, and more than 40 popular table games, there is also no need to stray far from the casino floor either!
Last and certainly not least of the most famous 5 land based casinos would have to be the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Another of the MGM Resorts International collection, the Grand is housed within the third largest hotel complex in the world, and boasts a gaming floor of over 171,000 square feet. The Grand has also had its fair share of silver screen cameos, and featured prominently in The Great White Hype, Vegas Vacation, and even in episodes of The Amazing Race.
The casino spoils players for choice, with more than 2500 slots, and over 100 table games. It also features an extensive sports betting arena where one can place bets on soccer, boxing, MMA and many more games and tournaments.
While these gaming destinations are certainly not the only casinos that deserve a mention, they definitely stand out above the rest as being some of the worlds most famous.