Rio

December 12, 2019 at 7:08 pm

Rio Officially known as the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, the Rio is situated on West Flamingo Road, a mile or so west of the stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard known as the ‘Las Vegas Strip’, in central Las Vegas. The Rio opened in 1990 but, nowadays, is probably best known as the home as the World Series of Poker, which it has hosted, in May each year, since 2005. Aside from a large, dedicated poker room, offering 30 tables, the Rio includes a long, winding casino floor – unsurprisingly, based on a Brazilian Carnival Mardi Gras theme – covering 117,300 square feet, or just over a hectare, in total.

The casino floor houses over 90 popular table games, including, but not limited to, baccarat, blackjack – single, double and full shoe versions – craps and roulette, together with poker variants such as Caribbean stud, pai gow and three card. Slot machines galore are also present. Table minimums, on the whole, tend to be a little higher – mostly $25 for blackjack, for example, compared with $10, or even $5, elsewhere – than in nearby casinos. Lower-limit tables are located in the outlying areas of the casino but, for ‘high rollers’, a high-limit room has table minimums starting at $100. The Rio also features 1,200 traditional, spinning-reel and video slot machines, some of which offer progressive jackpots, with stakes ranging from $0.01 to $500 a spin, plus over 350 state-of-the-art video poker machines.

Crown Melbourne

September 9, 2019 at 8:50 pm

Crown Melbourne Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex, commonly known as Crown Melbourne, is a large integrated resort in the Southbank precinct of Melbourne, the capital city of the state of Victoria, in south-eastern Australia. Opened in its current location, on the southern bank of the Yarra River, with sight of the central business district, in 1997, Crown Melbourne occupies an area of nearly 5,500,000 square feet – making it the largest casino complex in the Southern Hemisphere – of which 220,000 square feet is devoted to the casino floor.

Table games encompass baccarat, blackjack, including a controversial, low-stakes variant called ‘Blackjack Plus’, which vastly inflates the house edge, craps, poker and roulette among others. Crown Melbourne also offers a wide variety of fully automated tables games, poker machines – known locally as ‘pokies’ – and slot machines, with stakes starting at A$0.01.

The Crown Poker Room, which occupies its own dedicated, smoke-free space on the lowermost floor, is widely considered to the best in Australia. Big enough to accommodate 50 tables, the poker room offers several variants of poker including, of course, Texas hold’em; cash games, to suit all pockets, are available 24 hours a day and poker tournaments start twice daily. Of course, the Crown also plays host to several high-profile professional poker tournaments, including the Australian Poker Championship, a.k.a. ‘Aussie Millions’, held annually in January.

Casino Estoril

August 3, 2019 at 8:53 pm

Casino Estoril The history of Casino Estoril dates back to 1916, when Bernardino Machado Guimarães broke ground on its construction during his first term as President of Portugal. As the name suggests, Casino Estoril is situated in Estoril, a town in the well-to-do coastal region known as the ‘Portuguese Riviera’ about 10 miles west of Lisbon. In fact, Estoril is renowned as a luxury entertainment destination – thanks, in no small part, to the presence of Casino Estoril, which is reputedly the largest working casino in Europe – and one of the most expensive places to live on the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.

From humble beginnings, Casino Estoril was expanded, under the auspices of renowned Portuguese architects Filipe Nobre de Figueiredo and José de Almeida Segurado in the mid-Sixties. Situated in picturesque parkland, Casino Estoril, nowadays, is a spacious gaming and leisure complex offering a wide variety of gambling opportunities. Table games include baccarat, blackjack, punto banca, poker and the popular Portuguese dice game known as ‘banca francesa’ or ‘French bank’. Slot machines, too, are in plentiful supply, with over 1,000 available.

The Casino Estoril complex also includes a luxurious, fine-dining Chinese restaurant, known as the ‘Estoril Mandarim’, which is widely considered to be one of the finest in Europe. Beautifully situated, decorated and lit, Estoril Mandarim offers a selection of exquisite, traditional dishes from the Guangdong, formerly Canton, region of southern China.

Casino de Monte Carlo

July 2, 2019 at 8:55 pm

Casino de Monte Carlo The Casino de Monte Carlo is located towards the western end of the Monte Carlo Quarter, one of the four districts of the Principality of Monaco, on the French Riveria. Monaco is a tiny, independent city-state, known as a ‘Billionaires’ Playground’, but it is illegal for citizens Monaco gamble, or even work, in Casino de Monte Carlo. Consequently, despite its Belle Époque style and grandeur, the building is solely a tourist attraction.

Nowadays owned and operated by the state-controlled Société des Bains de Mer (SBM), Casino de Monte Carlo was founded by French entrepreneur François Blanc – later dubbed the ‘Wizard of Monte Carlo’ – in 1863, at the behest of the royal family of Monaco. Although richly decorated, Casino de Monte Carlo was designed as a gambling house right from the start.

These days, more ‘mundane’ table game offerings include blackjack, craps, roulette and Texas hold’em poker but, if you want to feel like you have stepped into the pages of a James Bond novel, you could always try your hand at chemin de fer or punto banco, a.k.a. North American baccarat. Away from the gaming tables, Casino de Monaco also offers over 1,000 slot machines, arranged row-by-row in the ‘Salle de Renaissance’ or the ‘Salle des Amériques’; despite the opulence of the surroundings, stakes start at just €0.01 per line, in some cases.

Borgata

June 11, 2019 at 8:58 pm

Borgata Officially known as the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the Borgata, in Atlantic City, New Jersey was, when it launched in 2003, the first property of its kind to open in ‘America’s Favourite Playground’ since the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in 1990. Originally a joint venture between the MGM Mirage Company and Boyd Gaming, the Borgata was, effectively, the first Las Vegas-style property in Atlantic City; it became the highest-grossing casino in the municipality in 2005 and has remained so ever since.

The Borgata casino floor, which covers 161,000 square feet, was originally designed with an emphasis on gaming tables, rather than slot machines. Traditional favourites, such as baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette, occupy most the gaming tables, but are supplemented by a variety of less popular games and over 3,000 slot machines. The poker room, which originally featured 34 tables, was subject to a major expansion in the Noughties and is now the largest in Atlantic City. Several high-profile tournaments, including the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open, are staged at regular intervals throughout the year.

The Borgata appears unwilling to rest on its laurels; following an investment of $12 million on a sports betting lounge and entertainment facility in June, 2019, the casino authorities announced on further investment of $14 million on renovation of the lobby and hotel suites less than three months later.