There once was a time when going to a casino was the preserve of the very well-heeled. Often these were private clubs where it was who you knew that got you the door as much as being able to pay the annual fees.

But the world has changed. Today, most casinos have a very open admission policy with no need for membership.

This has coincided with a general relaxing of the laws around gambling in many countries.

In turn, this has led to a great explosion not just in tourists visiting casinos as part of a holiday experience, but also to many travelling across the world expressly to gamble.

As a result, a number of gambling hotspots have become essential stopovers for fans of the activity. To capitalise on this, huge investments have been made by the casinos in these locations to maximise their popularity in the face of stiff global competition.

So here are six of the very best destinations to head for if you want to experience the greatest gambling experiences in the world.

Las Vegas

Let’s start with the grand daddy of them all. Some might argue that the heyday of Las Vegas was in the 1950s and 60s in the days of the Rat Pack and all the glamour that surrounded them. But the Sin City of today retains both the nostalgia of the old days and the very best of the new.

Big, brash and in-your-face, a trip to the city is an experience you’ll never forget. There are around 120 casinos in and around its famous Strip including the legendary Bellagio and Caesars Palace. Plus, every day there’s a new spectacle to enjoy and another attraction to visit – including the famous Mob Museum remembering the shady side to Sin City’s heyday.


Our next choice might be a slightly surprising one for some people. After all, New Zealand is probably better known for The Lord of the Rings than it is for spinning roulette wheels. But it’s the location of Auckland’s Sky City Casino that makes it an essential destination to visit. 

Situated in the 328 metre Sky City Tower it offers spectacular views over the CBD, as well as the chance to try your luck at all the classic casino games and on over 2,000 slots machines. Visitors to the country can also take advantage of the huge popularity of the online version of casino play with countless options available as new casino providers enter the market offering generous bonuses for new players.


Macau is notable for many things, not least that it is the only part of China where gambling is legal. Not only is it legal, it contributes around half of the special administrative region’s income each year. Plus, at around $30 billion a year the income generated greatly outstrips even the home of the Strip, Las Vegas.

Unsurprisingly, many of the big Vegas casino names can be found in Macau including Wynn Resorts, MGM and Las Vegas Sands. But the greatest casino complex of all has to be The Venetian. Boasting the world’s largest gaming floor at 376,000 square feet, it is lavishly decorated and even has its own canal system complete with gondoliers. 



The other major Far Eastern casino destination is undoubtedly Singapore. Although this is a place famous for its very strict laws which even forbid the importation of chewing gum, the attitude to casinos and gambling is very liberal indeed. Like Macau, it is very much pitched at the luxury end of the market.

The most outstanding casino is, without a doubt, the Marina Bay Sands whose three 55-storey towers dominate the skyline and are said to have been inspired by a deck of cards. The atrium casino is huge and the whole complex cost an estimated US$6.8 billion to construct. As well as its casino another notable leisure facility is the 147 metre infinity pool that runs across the top of the three towers, the biggest of its kind in the world.


While London may conjure up images of gentleman’s clubs where members of the aristocracy quietly indulge in their favourite casino games, there are plenty of opportunities to visit casinos here.

There are many situated in the heart of the West End including The Empire in Leicester Square as well as the nearby Hippodrome. In its time this has been everything from a music hall and theatre to a nightclub. Today, it combines a world-class casino with a performance space hosting magic shows and other spectaculars.


Let’s conclude our whistlestop tour of the world’s top casinos with the one that has even been immortalised in song. The Casino de Monte Carlo first opened in 1854 and was intended to be a way to raise funds for the principality that had broken away from the French state.

Combining glamour and exclusivity, it soon started to attract the world’s royalty and other high rollers. Today, you can visit to play the tables, or just for a tour of the rococo interior of the building. It’s strictly for tourists though – Monagasque people have always been forbidden from entry.

As global tourism continues to grow, no doubt many other places are hoping to put themselves on the map as casino destinations. So, in as little as ten years’ in the future, we might be looking at many more places like these six – but only time will tell.

By varsha