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.


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.

City of Dreams

May 15, 2019 at 9:00 pm

City of Dreams City of Dreams is situated on the so-called ‘Cotai Strip’ in the Cotai section of Macau, an autonomous territory that occupies a small peninsula on the south coast of China and two offshore islands. Owned and operated by Melcro Crown Entertainment, City of Dreams originally opened in phases between June and November, 2009, but a fifth, 40-storey hotel tower, named ‘Morpheus’, opened in June, 2018.

Like its main competitor, The Venetian Macao, which stands directly opposite, City of Dreams is one of the so-called ‘mega-casinos’ – which include luxury hotel developments, gourmet restaurants and round-the-clock entertainment – that have replaced traditional gambling houses in Macau in recent years.Both City of Dreams and The Venetian Macao are Las Vegas-style resorts, but City of Dreams is generally considered the more stylish of the two.

The casino floors at City of Dreams, collectively, cover 420,000 square feet, or 4 hectares – in other words, roughly the size of four football pitches – and offer over 500 gaming tables and over 1,500 gaming machines of one form or another. Table games include baccarat, blackjack, craps, poker – Caribbean Stud and Three Card, but not Texas Hold’em – and roulette. Slot machines, with minimum stakes between $0.02 and $5, number in excess of 1,200 and are supplemented by electronic gaming terminals offering variations of video poker and the ubiquitous ‘Big Wheel’ among other games.

Aspers Casino

April 11, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Aspers Casino Aspers Casino is named after gambling impresario John Aspinall, affectionately known as ‘Aspers’, and opened as a joint venture between his son, Damian, and Australian casino operator Crown Resorts in late 2011. Aspers Casino occupies the top floor of Westfield Stratford City – one of the largest, if not the largest, urban shopping centres in Europe – in Stratford, East London.

Indeed, with 65,000 square feet of gaming space, Aspers Casino was the first of the so-called ‘Las Vegas-style super casinos’ established in the United Kingdom, following the 2005 Gambling Act, and remains the largest casino in the country. Previously, under the anachronous 1968 Gaming Act, the number of high-stakes gambling machines in any gambling establishment was limited to just ten, but Aspers Casinos offers hundreds of slot machines and electronic gaming terminals, allowing gamblers to play for high or low stakes at their discretion.

Of course, the casino floor also hosts numerous traditional gaming tables, including baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette, while the poker room – a brightly lit, modern space – has capacity for hundreds of players at any time. Naturally enough, Aspers Casino regularly features professional poker tournaments but, overall, the aim is to attract low-stakes, recreational gamblers, rather than their high-stakes, professional counterparts. Two bars, an à la carte restaurant and entertainment, including live music, make Aspers Casino an attractive proposition as a leisure destination, day or night, regardless of fortune.

Casino Baden-Baden

February 5, 2019 at 9:04 pm

Casino Baden-Baden Dubbed ‘the most beautiful casino in the world’ by Marlene Dietrich, Casino Baden-Baden is situated in the spa town of the same name, on the edge of the Black Forest, in the state of Baden-Württemberg in south-western Germany. Housed in the classically inspired Kurhaus, built between 1821 and 1824, Casino Baden-Baden was taken over by Jacques Bénazet, who had previously run the Palais Royal in Paris, in 1838. Granted his heritage, it is no surprise that Bénazet based the interior design of Casino Baden-Baden on that of stately French palaces, with rich, intricately designed furniture and fittings, including an abundance of chandeliers, mirrors and gold leaf

Even today, although the halcyon days of Casino Baden-Baden are long gone, the large gambling hall still evokes the spirit of the Belle Époque, in terms of opulence and style. At 2,200 square feet, the casino floor is small by usual standards, but – notwithstanding the modern slot machines that occupy much of the floor space – patrons can immerse themselves in an ‘old school’ gambling experience. Time-honoured classics, such as blackjack, poker, punto banco and roulette – American and French – are available in the table games section. The thought of a modern nightclub in such a venerable building may seem a little incongruous but, while trendy and upbeat, Club Bernstein is stylishly decorated and provides an intimate, almost exclusive, setting in which to enjoy playing poker and roulette.