Few splendors rival the thrill of gambling. Casino operators have known this for centuries and give people every opportunity possible to experience that thrill. The problem is that it is so easy to lose money, casinos have to find ways to make their place more appealing than their competitors. Every year, casinos have tried to sweeten the post for its guests in a number of ways. From building hotels, to luxury shopping, spas, to even their own personal “concierge,” casinos are in a neon-coated arms race with all of their rivals.
The competition is so intense and the riches are so great, that casinos have truly outdone themselves. Because people are paying such good money, most casinos are trying to give their guests an experience that can’t be duplicated anywhere else. Every casino has tried to find its niche, too. Whether it be their night clubs, hotel amenities, scenery, shows, or business perks, each one is screaming for people to walk through their doors.
In the end, whatever science-fiction fantasies travelers have developed, these casinos have figured out how to give to them. This list identifies the casinos across the world that have gone out of their way to become the only place where people can safely go bankrupt while having the time of their lives.
10. The Bellagio
It’s easier to name the things that the Bellagio Hotel and Casino doesn’t have rather than list the things that it does. Bellagio doesn’t allow guests to bring more than two dogs. They also probably don’t allow a guest to punch an employee in the face. Stomach might be ok for an extra fee – the face is off limits.
Bellagio showers people with amenities like Mick Jagger gets showered with women’s underwear. Whatever a regular hotel and casino would offer, Bellagio ups the ante. In the casino, they have slots, but they offer slot hosts for those who have too much money to spend. The casino has restaurants, but Bellagio offers several Michelin-rated restaurants (the food critics, not the tires) like Picasso and Le Cirque, with James Beard award winning chefs like Todd English and Michael Mina. Unlike other Vegas hotels where escorts run their business, the Bellagio has restricted floor suites and even something called a Chairman’s Suite for the Ponzi schemer on vacation. Belissima!
9. The Ritz Club
The term “artisan” has been thrown around like a used bean bag the past decade. Artisan used to mean that people were trained for years before they perfected a certain craft. Now, people can go to Subway and somehow get artisan bread for their sandwiches – for $5.
The Ritz Club takes its unique idea of being an artisan when it comes to casinos to the maximum. Not to be confused with the less-than-pleasant Ritz-Carlton, the Ritz Club is a London hotspot that caters only to private guests. Patterning itself like a palace, guests can game, dine, and socialize in this extra-exclusive club 24 hours a day. The staff service is impeccable and club members wait on virtually nothing.
To illustrate the vibe here, the Ritz Club is like having a quiet, sharply dressed lawyer friend who is cultured and articulate. The other casinos are like a guy on the corner wearing a gold jump suit who suspiciously still uses a payphone. For only the best, go Ritz.
8. Casino de Ibiza
Most casinos implicitly discourage bringing kids into the mix. No kid should see a grown man cry after losing his mortgage at the roulette tables. At Casino de Ibiza inside the Ibiza Gran Hotel, they think differently. The casino actually encourages people to bring their families to the Spanish city because this place will actually babysit a guest’s children while they lose their college tuition money at the blackjack tables.
This place is all about relaxation, too. The spa offers reflexology, body wraps, steam room and hot stone massage. Plus, there’s detoxification wraps to undo the previous night’s heavy drinking. The luxurious part isn’t just inside the property, either. With weather that hardly ever gets above 85 degrees in the summer, guests can step out and explore the island town and hit the beaches or the many five star restaurants in the area. With rooms that overlook the bay, the most difficult part of playing here will be pronouncing the name.
7. Park Hyatt Mendoza
Don’t let the two dollar signs on TripAdvisor be misleading, this place is well worth the money. The Park Hyatt Mendoza gives the most luxurious bang for its buck. In this place, it’s the little things that count. The place is a throwback to old-school colonial Spanish architecture and every nook and cranny is as clean as a whistle. The rooms are extremely modern and the entire hotel is committed to an attention to detail.
The most luxurious part about the casino is the staff. Their impeccable service hides their total disdain for American travelers. That last part can’t be confirmed, but what can be confirmed is that the location, restaurants, and casino are immaculately well-kept.
6. The Cosmopolitan
One of the best parts of Las Vegas is that the entire culture of the city revolves around money. Unlike in New York where people flaunt their money in a subdued way like buying an expensive purse or like in Los Angeles where people drive really overpriced cars, Vegas actually celebrates money and all of the horrible, wonderful things that accompany it.
At the Cosmopolitan, one of the Strip’s newest glowing monsters, they’re good at making money, not just talking about it. The Cosmo relies on its nightclub which is the highest grossing nightclub in all of the United States. The club comes with VIP table service, cabana service, and probably some services off the menu to keep the high rollers coming back. The casino is over 100,00 square feet alone and overlooks the Strip. The gaming doesn’t stop there, either. Guests can even play blackjack and poker from their mobile device anywhere on the casino floor with the Cosmo’s new gaming technology.
Degenerate gambler? There’s an app for that.
5. Casino du Liban
In the United States, casino owners have to work extremely hard to get politicians into their back pockets. They either have to bribe them with cars, jewelry, or some kind of perks. When that doesn’t work, the casino owners have to pull Godfather-style tactics to get the zoning approval, licenses, or whatever other regulations the casino needs. This is because casino owners are all fighting for market share.
In Lebanon, the government actually gave the Casino du Liban a total monopoly over gaming in the country. Because they get to win all the money, the amenities are awesome! The place is so exclusive, they don’t let in government employees or anyone that doesn’t earn at least $33,000 a year. This means if there’s a friend in the group who is a barista or makes their own clothes, they can’t even get in the building. Fancy.
4. St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino
So apparently there is more to do in Canada besides playing hockey. At the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, Canadians finally have an excuse to break out their flannel tuxedos. Their guest rooms offer up awesome views of the St. Mary River with seriously beautiful and comfortable suites.
The most luxurious part of this place is its golf course. For a country that The Simpsons once called, “America, Jr.” they have really outdone themselves on the links. Not stopping with the views of the Rocky Mountains, a guest can book tee time, buy a fantasy golf package, build an itinerary, converse directly with a pro shop employee, or even get golf lessons while they stay.
3. Monte Carlo Casino
This list wouldn’t be complete with a kinda-French hotel and casino on the list. Give props to the Monte Carlo Casino for not only being one of the most luxurious, but also one of the oldest casinos listed here. Built in 1863, the Monaco monarchy realized long ago that people are always looking for ways to get rid of their hard-earned money. For the past 150 years, the Monte Carlo Casino has perfected this technique.
This place is at the height of luxury. It’s so fancy, it’s been used in several Bond films. There’s good reason for that too, unlike some of those dank casinos on the Las Vegas strip where you’re lucky to get out alive, the MCC (they don’t call it that) pampers its guests. The beach club has personalized tent service, pools with a view of the Mediterranean sea, man-made lagoons, and even a detox/relaxation center right on site. The rule against flip-flops in the casino does suggest that someone, at some point, decided to wear them in the same place James Bond shined. Tacky.
2. Wynn Macau
There is a rap group from the late 90s and early 2000s called The Cash Money Millionaires. Lil Wayne, B.G., Turk, Mannie Fresh, and a guy they called Birdman were all part of the group. The entire focus of the group’s image was basically to show the world how much money they had. That’s not an exaggeration. Nearly every song was about money. They even made “grills” popular for a short time. For those who don’t know, The Cash Money Millionaires would pay people to develop a retainer-like mouthpiece and fill it with diamonds. This way, every time they smiled, the whole world would know how irresponsibly they spent their money.
Even The Cash Money Millionaires would find the Wynn Macau to be a little rich for their blood. The casino, owned by the soon-to-be comic book villain Steve Wynn, takes the second spot on the list. This place has only the fanciest stores like Gucci, Cartier, Chanel, and Hugo Boss inside the casino. The best part is that there’s even a Ferrari apparel dealership for people who want everyone else to believe they have one. Not impressed yet? They also have an art gallery that includes rare pieces like the Buccleuch Vases and 400 year old statues. There’s even a dragon made entirely of crystal. For ballers, Wynn Macau is the place.
1. Venetian Macao
This casino’s so massive and luxurious, there are probably people who went into the casino that still haven’t found their way out. Actually, this was probably the point. To really understand how big, expensive, and elegant this place is, the numbers will have to tell the tale.
There is over 500,000 square feet of just gaming space. This means that blackjack players can lose their shirt in an area the size of most malls. There is also a 15,000-seat arena on the property that has hosted NBA exhibition games. With a million feet of meeting space, business people can get themselves into trouble even while traveling for work. For a small fortune, a guest can book a 3,800 square foot suite that comes with a butler and limousine service. For what it costs to stay here, wouldn’t it just be easier to actually go to Venice? Probably not.