What is it about places like Las Vegas, Macau and Monte Carlo? What do these bastions of gambling have that make them seem so darn glamorous and appealing? I fall into that that category of players that casinos love to hate. If I play, I cash out the second I’ve turned a profit. I’m not that player who sets aside a fixed budget, only to exceed it to recover losses, no sir! Even if I put a miniscule amount into a slot machine and I double it, I’m out of there.
Here’s the thing, and I can say this with confidence because I’ve stepped into a casino enough times to know this: gamblers are a miserable bunch of people. I know this is a bit of a general statement, so if you’re offended or you consider yourself to be a well-balanced and functioning member of society who only gambles now and then, then good on you. If you’ve ever found yourself in a casino at 4am, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Try striking up a conversation with that guy at the blackjack table who just about mumbles to the dealer amidst a constant haze of smoke. Or try and chat to the old bird at the slots who blinks every 30 minutes as she watches those reels spin with hypnotised glee. I can assure you, you’ll be ice-skating up a hill.
Casinos however want everyone to play and even if you don’t play, they want you to be in the vicinity to support their numerous other ventures. The modern casino has reinvented itself as a family friendly venue, and thus one that’s capable of making sure all bases are covered. Dad can gamble, mom can shop and junior can go on rides and play various other kid-friendly games. Casino cities like Vegas and Monte Carlo have literally made themselves into hubs of entertainment, worthy of your time. It is with all this in mind, that I’d like to turn your attention to the best gambling cities in the world…
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For a very long time, Las Vegas was the largest gambling capital but that title is now only applicable to its homeland, the good old U S of A. The world’s biggest gambling hub is Macau. Originally a Portuguese colony up until 1999, Macau has its own currency and legal system and is basically a city outside of the Chinese jurisdiction. Macau featured quite extensively in the 2012 James Bond adventure, Skyfall, and those movies only showcase the best there is when it comes to gambling.
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Sin City, the original town of dreams is none other than Las Vegas. Initially founded way back by the mobster Benjamin Siegel, Las Vegas grew and flourished in the middle of the desert to become the quintessential gamblers destination where pretty much anything within reason was attainable. There’s a reason the phrase ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ exists. These days Las Vegas serves an international venue not just to play casino games but also as one where numerous conventions get held. Vegas has really struck gold with being a centre of business get-togethers and conventions. Captains of industries from all around the world come to Vegas to liaise and learn from one another.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
One cannot speak of gambling without speaking of Monte Carlo. Vegas and Macau has something for everyone, but Monte Carlo is exclusive. This is the rich man’s playground and if you are going there, make sure your pockets are fat. Monte Carlo has been offering games of chance since the middle of the 19th century and thus has a legacy of gambling. The opulence of their casinos are second to none.
When you think about gambling, London isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind, but the fact of the matter is that it’s been housing casinos for years. It’s also one of those gambling locations that will cater to all pocket sizes while allowing players to take in many historical sites of gaming. Establishments like the Hippodrome, for instance, have been around since 1900, and has served as an entertainment venue and theatre. Today it’s a popular casino that maintains its historical attributes.
Singapore is still fresh behind the ears, having only legalised gambling activities in 2005. It hasn’t wasted anytime though in upskilling itself in the art of chance and entertainment, and can now hold its own among the big boys. Singapore has thrown money at its gambling situation and this has led to great architecture, which in turn has paved the way for outstanding casinos. Prime examples would be the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Casinos, all of which have been enmeshed with the technological aesthetics of the city itself.
The beauty of all these gambling capitals of the world are their multifaceted features. It’s not just about gambling anymore. It’s about all-round entertainment. If you’re going to travel and you don’t mind taking in a game or two, or three, while also being exposed to a slew of other activities, then perhaps you should include one of these destinations as part of your travels.