You don’t have to be a gambler to go to Vegas and Macau, or Atlantic City for that matter. The best casino cities in the world are worth a visit if only for the pace of excitement they generate. The vibe they exude is unmatched – it’s a big never ending party, complete with entertainment, shows and performances that no other city can hope to compete with.
1. Macau, China
With over 30 functioning casinos and another two dozen in the pipeline, Macau is fast giving Vegas a run for its money…Literally. Home to the largest casino in the world, the 10,500,000 square foot Venetian Macau, this city takes its gambling seriously. Gambling tourism is responsible for more than half of the it’s economy!
There is also life beyond the roulette table in Macau:
- Visit the ruins of the Church of St Paul
- Check out the Macau Museum of Art
- Plan a trip to the Guia Fort and Guia Chapel
2. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sin City. The monicker for Las Vegas is supposed to explain it all. Vegas is legendary – it is also inspiration for various newer gambling cities around the world. They try, but come nowhere close to the phenomenon that is home to big name casino hotels like the Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace.
If you manage to escape the Vegas-vibe, here is what you can do in your spare time:
- Try the breakfast buffet at the Wynn, if you manage to wake up in time
- Visit the shark reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay
- Check out the New York-New York hotel on a roller coaster!
3. Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monte Carlo is exactly like what you see in those classy James Bond movies – beautiful views and beautiful people. There is no hectic partying and the typical nightlife scene of a gambling city; its all traditional and glamorous gambling here.
Once you are done rubbing shoulders with residents who call this tax haven home, here is what else you can do:
- Visit the Oceanographic Museum
- Tour the Jardin Exotique gardens
- Get a view of Monaco from the snooty terrace of the Café de Paris
4. London, England
Yes, London – the image that appears when the city is mentioned is usually of brunches and high tea; not of delightfully dysfunctional people trying to gamble away their fortunes in the middle of the night. But with about twenty five joints in the city, London is pretty well qualified to be called a casino city. A few of them are your exclusive membership type of establishments but most are open the regular guy looking for a round of blackjack.
Stuff to do while not gambling in London:
- Visit the National Gallery
- View the city from the London Eye
- Check out Buckingham Palace
A newbie in the gambling game, squeaky clean Singapore very recently legalized this willful squandering of money as a form of entertainment. Entering the market with the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Casinos and a big bang has placed Singapore conspicuously on the gambling map.
Some conventional things to do in Singapore:
- Visit one of the world’s best zoos – the Singapore Zoo
- Check out Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Plan a day trip to Sentosa
6. Paris, France
Another lesser known gambling city, Paris is pretty much in the same boat as London. Say Paris, visualize Eiffel Tower. But Paris has its share of high rollers in the few casinos it is home to. So now you know – it is possible to see the Eiffel Tower AND hit a blackjack table on the same day.
Paris beyond the Eiffel and its casinos:
- Museum hop
- Take a walk around the Luxembourg Gardens
- Spend some time on Ile Saint-Louis
7. San Jose, Costa Rica
Even though Costa Rica doesn’t really ring a bell when thinking casino cities, it is one of the best places to go to if gambling is on your mind. A tourist friendly exchange rate in a tropical paradise with around thirty casinos to choose from – is quite the perfect package, wouldn’t you say?
San Jose beyond its perfect gambling package:
- Visit the beautiful National Theatre
- Eat at Mercado Central
- Spend a day at the National Museum
Read more: Why 2015 is the best year to be in Singapore
Photo credit: Leonora Enking
8. Aruba, Caribbean
With the credit of having invented Caribbean Stud Poker tucked under its belt, Aruba is amongst the top Caribbean casino cities. The recipe is unbeatable – fine powder sand beaches, big brand named casinos and surf worthy waves.
What to do when in Aruba:
- Spend a day on Eagle Beach – one of the best in the world
- Snorkelling and scuba diving
- Visit the Aruba Archaeological Museum
Read more: Top 8 spots for your Mediterranean vacation
9. Melbourne, Australia
Crown Casino, the largest casino in Australia; is definitely the name that draws the gambling hordes to Melbourne. Every January, there is the Aussie Millions that is conveniently scheduled to coincide with the Australian Open – giving a boost to sports betting. Plus there is the Melbourne Cup held at Flemington Racecourse to add to horse racing excitement.
Other things to do in Melbourne:
- Day trip on the Great Ocean Road
- Royal Melbourne Zoo
- Melbourne Museum
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10. Atlantic City, USA
Not a patch on Las Vegas, Atlantic City is not a push over either. Built specifically around gambling tourism, Atlantic City hosts those who can’t make it to Vegas. But don’t let that bring you down – some of the biggest names in entertainment perform in the casinos of Atlantic City.
Stay busy in Atlantic City:
- Stroll the Atlantic City Boardwalk
- Catch a blockbuster big name show
- Visit the Comedy Club at Borgata