From picking which gladiator was going to win the battle to betting on the role of a dice, we’ve been huge fans of gambling for hundreds of thousands of years. And even though the modern day gambling scene is a far cry from that of our ancestors, the way we’ve enjoyed gambling over the years has shaped the look and feel of our casinos today.
However, gambling is no longer confined to land-based casinos. Gamblers are always looking for ways they can take their gambling experience to the next level. There has been a dramatic rise in the popularity of online casinos. They aim to simulate the look, feel and excitement of a real casino – and offer the option for users to communicate with dealers and other players in real time. Best of all, users can play along in the comfort of their own homes, or if they’re on the move.
Online casinos are keen to ensure that the gambling experience they offer stands out from the competition. Many online casinos aim to offer something different to clients but without removing any of the traditions involved in the age-old gambling scene. One example of doing this is by using carefully selected imagery and a unique retro design to create a nostalgic, old-fashioned feel that simulates the experience of walking through an authentic 1950s diner, complete with a Wurlitzer jukebox, chequered flooring and chrome visuals. This is exactly what you’ll find at 777 casino.
So, it appears both land-based and online casinos are keen to ensure that the history of gambling is not forgotten. Even though there were gambling halls and dens in the past, it wasn’t until 1638 that an official casino was created. This was the Casino Di Venezia, and it was established by the local council to try and create a trouble-free gambling environment while a carnival was running.
However, the ‘casino’ concept didn’t really catch on until the 18th and 19th centuries. But during this time there was a casino boom, with hundreds of buildings being transformed into the opulent casinos we know and love today.
So, to celebrate these much-loved casinos, here are seven of the most unique ones from across the globe:
1. Casino St. Moritz
An aerial view of St. Moritz
Located in the Swiss Alps, this casino isn’t just revered for its slots and gaming facilities but also for the fact you can head out on the slopes during the day. Waking up amidst the snow-capped mountains that surround this casino is something else, with the ski resort giving you plenty to do until the night falls.
Don’t worry if you visit this location in the summer, though, because there’s still plenty of breathtaking routes for mountain bikers and climbers – and the casino runs all year round, of course!
2. Sun City
Sun City casino is the perfect place to go if you love nature
Another casino that celebrates its natural surroundings is Sun City in South Africa. Not only is it one of the most well-known casinos outside of Sin City (Las Vegas) but it also boasts regular safari tours into the neighbouring Pilanesberg National Park, where you can see giraffe, lions, zebra and a whole range of African wildlife. This gives you the perfect opportunity to play on your favourite slots while getting up close and personal with your favourite animals, too.
You’ll even find two golf courses, where, on the 13th hole of one there’s a crocodile-infested water feature! The man behind the hotel, Sol Kerzner, developed it as part of his Sun International group of properties. Officially opened in December 1979, it’s hosted a plethora of world-class entertainers, including the Beach Boys, Cher, Frank Sinatra and Rod Stewart. More recently it was the set for the 2014 movie Blended, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.
3. The Desert Cave Hotel
The Desert Cave Hotel is located in the heart of the outback
You’ll often find casinos that don’t have many windows so gamblers don’t know how long they’ve been gambling for, but at this casino in Australia, the architects didn’t even need to consider sunlight.
That’s because the Desert Cave Hotel is situated predominantly underground. This not only allows gamblers to escape the hot Australian sun but gives them the chance to enjoy the stunning architecture that made this area of Southern Australia so famous.
Robert Coro was the man behind this hotel, and when he began its construction in 1984 he wanted to make sure it captured the essence of the surrounding area. As many of the locals lived underground, Coro thought this was the ideal choice for the hotel, too, and created an underground experience that’s truly unique. Even though guests can stay above ground if they wish, the underground gaming rooms are definitely worth a visit.
4. The Venetian
Found on the Cotai Strip in Macau, this $2.4 billion casino boasts a luxurious interior that’s jam-packed full of gaming floors with plenty of slots to choose from. Founded by Sheldon Adelson, who is also the Chairman and CEO, it covers 10,500,000 square feet over 39 storeys, making it the world’s seventh largest building (for floor area). Therefore, there’s plenty of room for the 800 gaming tables and more than 3,400 slot machines. There’s even an indoor area that seats 15,000 people for regular boxing, tennis and basketball events.
The gaming area is divided into four sections, Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix. The décor is adorned with gold and glittering lights – and there’s also the 15,000-seat Cotai Arena which regularly hosts all kinds of entertainment by world-famous entertainers such as Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Bon Jovi.
And even though the casino is located in the Far East, you’ll soon feel as though you’ve walked into Venice when you enter the building. Not only does it have opulent, Italian-inspired décor but it’s even home to a replica of St. Mark’s Square and you can take a ride along one of the canals in a gondola.
5. The Cosmopolitan
No list of outstanding casinos would be complete without a mention of one in Las Vegas. Even though there are plenty to choose from, The Cosmopolitan is often favoured due to its high-class and altogether refined experience. It also allows guests to enjoy amazing views of the Bellagio and Las Vegas Strip – although that comes at a price, as this hotel is one of the most expensive in the city.
Opened in 2010, the Cosmo comprises two 184m-tall towers, and is owned by the Blackstone Group, who bought it in 2014 for $1.73 billion.
The gaming area is an exclusive setting and with just 3,000 guest rooms (no, this isn’t a lot in Vegas), it’s one of the smallest hotels on the block. It’s this elite feel that makes The Cosmopolitan so sought after, and is why you can expect to pay more for one of the rooms – especially if you want views of the Las Vegas Strip and Bellagio.
6. The Hippodrome
For this utterly unique gambling experience, you don’t need to travel far. Situated near to Leicester Square in London, the Hippodrome is contained within an old theatre and dates back to the 1900s. Designed by Frank Matcham, it was initially intended as an events and entertainment venue, hence why the stage is still there and there are regular performances, but in 2009, it also became a casino.
Located over three floors, the casino is still home to a number of fabulous acts, allowing guests to enjoy great food, slots and entertainment. It’s also renowned for the poker facilities it has to offer. It can accommodate 2,000 guests at its busiest.
7. The Empire Casino
The Empire is in the world famous Leicester Square
The Empire doesn’t hold back in terms of quality or heritage. Located in London’s exclusive Leicester Square, the Empire is in the same building as the historic Empire Cinema – which has famously hosted many film premieres over the years. While this casino has undergone a modern renovation, its layout hasn’t changed much since it was opened in 1884 and the regal feeling doesn’t get lost in translation.
The casino is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With a vast selection of table games and poker rooms, the Empire is a must-visit for London visitors. It gets busy on weekends, with plenty of celeb spotting opportunities later on in the evening. Owned by London Clubs International, the casino covers 55,000 square feet across two floors, there are 31 gaming tables including Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Punto Banco and American Roulette. The casino is available for hire, and can host up to 200 guests who’ll have access to a range of bars and all of the gambling facilities.
With so many exciting, vibrant and distinguished casinos on offer around the world, where will you go to next?