“The house always wins” — especially if the “house” is one of these esteemed casinos, dating from the Belle Époque to the present.
Here, a collection of world-class destinations for gamblers (and non-gamblers) whose other-era allure and attractive design are certain to awe.
The Ritz Club London
This members' club is at one of London’s poshest addresses, the Ritz. The world-class main salon is situated in the former ballroom, which is embellished with a domed ceiling and trompe l’oeil–painted walls (a panoramic scene with guests depicted in formal dress). The ambience of the casino — which hosts gamblers around the clock — is at once classic and contemporary.
Wynn Las Vegas
The premier casino-resort in the U.S. is, without doubt, the Wynn Las Vegas (and its more intimate Encore Resort). This destination caters to the nation’s wealthiest casino-goers with an understated (for Las Vegas) amount of flash, thanks to Roger Thomas, who also designed the Bellagio Resort & Casino. He and Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, have created a new standard for casinos, focusing on indoor-outdoor space that is grand and not mazelike.
Casino de Monte-Carlo
The casino from Ian Fleming’s "Casino Royale" was based on the Casino de Monte-Carlo: a brilliant destination that could entertain even Bond, James Bond. In 1863, Prince Florestan constructed this Belle Époque–era paradise to address his nation’s debt, an effort to entice the English elite (and their wealth) to Monaco. Today the glamour of this casino is unmatched. The Casino de Monte-Carlo is, perhaps, the grandest — and the most iconic — casino in the world.
Marina Bay Sands
Singapore welcomed the Marina Bay Sands in 2010. It was Moshe Safdie, the Israeli-born architect who apprenticed with Louis I. Kahn, who designed the $5.7 billion casino-resort, a three-tower creative wonder that, Safdie has said, is meant to resemble a deck of cards. The resort’s four-floor casino is one of the most extensive in the world, boasting 1,500 slot machines and 600 table games as well as one of the greatest Swarovski chandeliers in existence.
Casino de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
This beloved winter-sport destination features a casino with old-world charm, an enhanced version of the après ski experience. The Casino de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, established in 1992, is new. But its home is historic: The former hotel, le Royal, was constructed around 1816 and once hosted Napoléon III.
The name, Baden-Baden, comes from the German word for “bath.” Baden-Baden is famous for its spa culture — which for centuries has attracted Europe’s aristocrats to the Black Forest town. The salons of this Belle Époque–era casino are ornate: Crimson walls and richly colored murals are embellished with gilded elements (gold sconces, gold statues). In 2016, Casino Baden-Baden debuted the Grill, an Oana Rosen–designed steak-and-sushi restaurant whose chic, modern aesthetic is a welcome contrast to the classic establishment.
The Venetian Macao
Macao is considered Asia’s answer to Las Vegas. And the Venetian Macao is twice the size of its sister casino, the Venetian Las Vegas, featuring 376,000 square feet of games (640 table games and 1,740 slot machines). This Venice-themed destination also includes three 500-foot canals and 44 authentic gondolas with gondoliers.