From the neon lights of Vegas and opulent high rises of Macau to the refined sophistication of Monaco, the world is awash with luxurious and appealing casino destinations worth spending big in, and high-rollers and whales simply can’t get enough of them. After two years of playing online from the comfort of their sofas at the height of the global pandemic, it seems that the allure of land-based casinos is just too strong to resist any longer, and the biggest luxury casino resorts are now reporting a dramatic surge in the number of bookings for 2022.
With gambling revenue also going through the roof now that travel restrictions and testing requirements have finally eased, it’s clear that the biggest spending gamblers across the globe are already returning to their jet-setting ways – but which destination tops the list when it comes to the most popular right now? It’s a tough call, and these three each offer a unique experience that every affluent gambler should try at least once. If you’re trying to choose your first port of call for a last-minute casino getaway, then here’s why each is a top pick for high rollers – we’ll leave the final decision up to you.
Few can deny the allure of the bright lights of Vegas, and Sin City, the original casino destination for both amateur and experienced gamblers alike, continues to draw huge numbers of visitors and turn over some eye-watering numbers in revenue each year.
Having regularly featured in glitzy and glamorous Hollywood films where iconic venues including Caesar’s Palace, The Bellagio and The Mirage have served as the backdrop for scenes of excess, it’s perhaps little wonder that the world’s high rollers continue to jet into Vegas for an extravagant weekend of betting – and ideally, winning – big, and when you take into consideration some of the most famed casino resorts’ unrivalled VIP programmes, it’s easy to see why they keep coming back for more.
From free stays in resorts’ most sought-after luxury suites to all-expenses-paid, first class flights to return, successful establishments like these know exactly what it takes to keep big money players sweet, and it’s one of the many reasons the city’s status as a gamblers’ paradise has never wavered.
Dubbed by many in the know ‘the new gambling capital of the world’, Macau – a special administrative region of China – is certainly the most notable in Asia, where many countries continue to prohibit casinos or limit gambling activities significantly. And, when you consider the fact that it has eclipsed Vegas in the revenue stakes over recent years, it seems its appeal knows no bounds for whales from around the world.
While the Las Vegas Strip has brought in approximately $13.6 billion over the past year, only $5 billion of that was actually attributed to gaming. Meanwhile, Macau reported a resolute $13 billion for the same period from gambling alone, officially making it the largest gambling jurisdiction in the world.
Once a Portuguese colony, Macau has been under Chinese rule since 1999, but despite the fact that gambling remains illegal under Chinese law, has been able to make its own rules due to its unique administrative status. Although residents and visitors alike can now enjoy easy access to some of its most lavish casinos, it wasn’t always this way, and prior to returning to Chinese rule it was rife with organised crime where the competition for access to illicit casino VIP rooms was fierce.
Now, though, it’s precisely these rooms that openly host some of the biggest games with the highest stakes in the world – and combined with the opulence and sophistication of Macau’s sprawling luxury resorts and extravagant entertainment and foodie scenes, the world’s high rollers simply can’t resist.
A departure from the ostentatious appeal of Vegas and Macau, Monaco offers a more refined experience, where the original glitz and glamour associated with casinos in times gone by still remains. In the capital Monte Carlo, the iconic Monte Carlo Casino and the legendary Place du Casino remain huge draws for travelling high rollers, particularly those living in Europe, exuding elegance and sophistication with opulent gold interiors, old school dress code and lots of traditional and much-loved games.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing things about Monaco is that locals aren’t permitted to enter gambling establishments, nor partake in popular casino pursuits like blackjack and pontoon – but the influx of wealthy visitors from outside ensures its gambling revenue remains high, reaching €239.8 million in the last financial year. With its small yet exclusive selection of casinos, its offering is relatively small compared to behemoths like Vegas and Macau – but those looking for the very classiest of experiences will likely never tire of its appeal.