Let’s face it, when it comes to the obvious destination for a spot of gaming, Las Vegas is way out there on its own. No other city springs to mind so readily when you’re looking for a weekend of gambling-fuelled hedonism (sorry Blackpool, nice try but no dice).
Still, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some alternative options, if you’re looking for something fresh. Broaden your horizons, say no thanks to Nevada – and you might just enjoy one of the most spectacular holidays of your life…
Dubbed the gambling capital of the world, Macau is a resort city famous for luxury hotels and casinos. Over the last 12 years, its gaming revenue has been the highest on the planet, and the tiny Chinese territory is filthy rich – and positively dripping with opulence.
It’s also the only place in the whole of China where gambling is legal, meaning everything from horseracing to greyhounds can be found here – along with 38 casinos to keep you entertained. And because of the Asian influence, as well as the standard roulette and blackjack action, you’ll also find more offbeat fare, like dice game Sic Bo.
Casinos are open 24 hours a day, with the Hong Kong dollar the favoured currency of choice. If you’re looking for a memorable trip, the Venetian happens to be the biggest casino resort anywhere on Earth – dwarfing even its inspiration, the original Venetian Resort in Vegas…
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Size isn’t everything, of course; Monte Carlo focuses more on style and class, than more vulgar concerns. Famous as the place where the more cultured of casino-goers can choose to nonchalantly wager small fortunes without batting an eyelid, Monte Carlo may lack Vegas’ brashness, but it’s got an undeniable elegance you don’t tend to find at most gambling establishments these days. You may struggle to find a burger joint.
Instead, it’s the Casino de Monte-Carlo that gets all the attention, thanks to a centuries-old history as one of the most elegant destinations in gaming. But there are other places worth investigating – the open-air gaming terraces, where you can play roulette in the great outdoors, are a particular favourite.
As well as table games, you’ll find the usual array of slots, sports betting and even big screens to watch the football, should you need a break from making like James Bond. Still, packing your dinner jacket isn’t a bad idea…
Head out to the island of New Providence to discover Nassau, the commercial centre of the Bahamas. Amongst the golden sands, blue skies and blazing sunshine, you’ll find slots, table games, sportsbook gambling – and even dedicated gaming tournaments, should your competitive side really kick in.
In general there’s more of a relaxed vibe here than at some of the other famed casino locations, but that’s all to the good if you’re as interested in supping on pina coladas as you are at raiding the roulette table.
Jamaica might not be top of your list of countries to visit if you’re seeking some gambling action, but actually this Caribbean island has a decent amount of casinos – not to mention plenty of other reasons to visit, from golf courses to a museum devoted to Bob Marley!
Of course, if you’re strictly about the gambling, no worries; you’ll find a bunch of gaming lounges here, with slots, blackjack, roulette – all the casino action you can handle. Your best bet is the capital, Kingston, were you’ll find the luxurious Monte Carlo Gaming Lounge at the Terra Nova hotel. It might not have the neon-soaked insanity of Vegas, but if you’re looking for a more chilled experience, make for Jamaica…
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