Top casino cities: 8 popular gambling destinations for 2018
These are some of best land-based casinos and gambling hotspots.
In recent years, cyber-space has made a very convincing argument for the world's best gambling "destination".
But if you're thinking of trying out some brick n' mortar casinos in favour of the online casino scene, where's first on your to-go list?
Let's have a look at the most popular places in the world to gamble.
The list has been narrowed down to eight, but more and more countries are dipping their toes into legalised casino gambling.
That's just made the job even harder. Happy travels.
London has a long and illustrious history of great casinos.
London has enjoyed gambling dens of one sort or another for centuries. Indeed, some of the earliest gentlemen's clubs like Crockfords still exist.
But you don't have to be a high roller to enjoy totally legal roulette and blackjack in London's casinos. Under a recent change in the law, you can walk right into most London casinos without membership.
Slots and roulette rule the roost at London casinos, but most have dedicated poker rooms too. You can also play automatic roulette via electronic terminals at even the smaller casinos.
Gambling in the city is very much a 'social' occasion, so expect to find killer bars and restaurants. The half-mile area around Leicester Square has four or five casinos alone, starting with the revamped Hippodrome Casino. The site used to be a major entertainment venue in the 1920s and later a nightclub.
Best bets: High-limit gambling at Crockfords.
Downsides: Accommodation around Leicester Square is expensive; Hippodrome's ground floor can get crowded on weekends.
A relaxing of gambling laws has made Singapore a must-go destination for Asian gamblers.
Singapore has relaxed its gambling laws in recent years and has taken full advantage of Chinese VIP gamblers who have been put off visiting Macau. And Singapore is some alternative: major players like Resorts World and Sands have mega casinos here.
The integrated Resorts World Sentosa casino has exclusive rooms with tropical underwater views while you can take your pick of over 2,400 video slots and gaming tables.
The Marina Bay Sands Casino has 15,000 square feet of space over four levels and a staggering 600 tables. Sic Bo, blackjack, and 1,500 slots await. You can even join a local Sands Rewards Club to earn bonus dollars.
Best bets: Resorts World Sentosa for hotel rooms with underwater views; 1,500 slots at Sands Marina Bay casino.
Downsides: Singaporeans can't play in local casinos without paying a levy.
Macau rivals Las Vegas for the title of 'Best Gambling Destination'.
Macau remains Las Vegas's biggest gambling rival on the world list. The Cotai Strip is the place to go, where Aussie gambling legend, James Packer, opened his City of Dreams casino to great fanfare.
The casino has a Hollywood theme (complete with Batman ride), and a figure-of-eight Ferris wheel planted in the side of the hotel. They don't mess around in Macau.
If you've visited Vegas before, you'll recognise some of the brands on offer. The Venetian, Hard Rock, and MGM Grand all have Macau sites which boast a selection of gaming tables and slots to rival anything in Sin City. Minimum bets across the city are pretty low too.
Best bets: The best Chinese food at City of Dreams' five-star restaurants'; low minimum stakes city-wide.
Downsides: Hotel rates can be high at some of the larger casinos.
4. LAS VEGAS
A visit to the Vegas Strip should be on everyone's bucket list.
Where do you start with Vegas? Once a stop-off for road gamblers and travellers alike, Las Vegas has become America's playground in less than 70 years.
The city is constantly reinventing itself. You can stay in up-to-date hotels like ARIA on The Strip or catch a world-famous musical at the Mirage or Venetian. Alternatively, venture Downtown for some old-school, 1960s-style gambling. The shark pool with waterslide at the Golden Nugget is worth the trip alone.
Thousands of the world's best (and worst) poker players head to Vegas every summer for the World Series of Poker, held at the Rio. Even if you're a complete Texas Hold'em novice you can find a game to suit your level and bankroll.
Best bets: Staying on the Strip for 24/7 gambling, roulette, and video slots; enjoying the best all-you-can-eat buffets at Bellagio or the Rio; heading Downtown for a chilled-out, old-school vibe.
Downsides: Perks and comps aren't what they were; some of the more modern Vegas hotels don't have the swagger of the old-school ones.
Come for the gambling, stay for the Australian Open and great winter weather.
Australia is going through a massive expansion of its casinos at the moment. But while new mega resorts are being planned for Perth, Cairns, and Sydney, head to the showpiece of Aussie gambling -Crown Casino.
Crown Resorts rule the roost in Australia when it comes to casinos, and you're unlikely to find better gambling this side of Macau.
Head there in January for the legendary Aussie Millions Poker Championship and stay for the Australian Open tennis. But the Crown is a great place to visit any time of the year, with blackjack, baccarat, craps, and "pokies" among the many distractions.
Best Bets: Aussie Millions and WSOP Bonus Hold'em at Crown Casino; cosmopolitan city with amazing restaurants and bars; catch the Australian Open when you visit.
Downsides: Far to go if you live on the other side of the world; travel within Australia can be long and arduous.
6. MONTE CARLO
One of the world's oldest casinos - but make sure you stock up on lots of Euros.
The rich man's playground, Monte-Carlo has some of the oldest casinos in the world. Let's start with the Casino de Monte-Carlo, which has been offering gaming to the principality since the mid-19th century.
You'll be so distracted by the decor in the the ornate Salles Des Ameriques you may forget to place your bets. The room is totally dedicated to slot machines. Elsewhere, the spacious Salle Blanch has punto banco, roulette, and the French speciality, Trente et Quarante.
While there, don't forget to hit the Sun Casino, a Monte-Carlo outpost that features table games and slots.
Best bets: Open-air roulette on the White Room Terrance at the Casino de Monte-Carlo; high roller action in the Salons Super Privés.
Downsides: Very expensive for a holiday; city gets full in the summer; only four casinos to play at.
Could Sochi be the world's new Las Vegas? Winter sports enthusiasts would agree.
Since a major crackdown on gambling a few years ago, Russia has been busy implementing special "gambling zones" across the country. Sochi is a more recent addition to the safe list, and the 2014 Winter Olympics host is wasting no time in taking advantage.
The Sochi Casino & Resort opened in 2017, and there's a real emphasis on entertainment. The resort features five-star restaurants and a theatre as well as the casino.
Major poker events were held in 2017 and more are expected to follow. For casino fans, Sochi features blackjack, American Roulette and the local delicacy, Russian Poker. A form of Oasis Poker, also found at Betway Casino, can be played for real money.
Best bets: Russian Poker, baccarat, and big prize draws at Sochi Casino & Resort; stay for skiing and winter sports.
Downsides: The nearest gambling zone, Azov City, is over 400 miles away; all foreign visitors will need a visa; almost inhospitable in the middle of winter.
Manila is becoming one of Asia's brightest gambling destinations.
Manila boasts several big resorts, with City of Dreams, Okada, and Midas all in spitting distance of one another in or near the Entertainment City complex. You'll be able enjoy spas and free breakfast at most casino sites too.
City of Dreams' Manila branch covers a staggering 6.2 hectares and has a big emphasis on card games. Baccarat, Caribbean Stud, Pontoon, and Lunar Poker are available. Asian faves like Sic Bo are present and correct, of course. Arm yourself with some slots strategy and hit the thousands of video slots you'll find in the city.
Best bets: Asian Poker Tour stops; big emphasis on card games at casino; massive rewards programs across the city.
Downsides: Avoid the rainy season, which seems to run for around seven months of the year.
Also worth stamping your passport for: Prague (Czech Republic), Montreal (Canada), Atlantic City (USA)