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.

Casino Salzburg

January 3, 2019 at 7:17 pm

Casino Salzburg The central Austrian city of Salzburg, near the German border, is probably best known as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the setting for the Rogers and Hammerstein musical ‘The Sound of Music’. However, from a gambling perspective, Salzburg – or rather Wals-Siezenheim, two-and-a-half miles west of Salzburg – has, since 1993, been home to Casino Salzburg.

Casino Salzburg is housed in Schloss Klessheim, which originally dates from the turn of the eighteenth century and is a fine example of the Baroque architecture for which Salzburg is renowned. However, beyond the impressive exterior, guests can find a modern, recently restored, renovated and redesigned casino floor.

Various gaming areas, which collectively cover about 25,000 square feet, or just over half an acre, incorporate 30 or so gaming tables. Poker, including two variants, known as ‘Tropical Stud’ and ‘Easy Hold’em’, which allow players to bet against the bank, rather than each other, is very much in evidence, with 11 tables in total. So, too, are blackjack and American, double-zero roulette, but baccarat and punto banco are also available. Electronic gaming machines and slot machines are plentiful, with over 200 to choose from.

Visitors should be aware that they will be required to produce a passport and pay a fee – at the time of writing, €30 – to enter Casino Salzburg. However, the €30 cover charge is, effectively, refunded in the form of casino chips or a slot machine card.



October 17, 2018 at 9:06 pm

Bellagio To the worldwide audience, the Bellagio, on the Las Vegas Strip, is probably best known for the ‘Fountains of Bellagio’, which served as the backdrop for an iconic scene in the slickest Hollywood blockbuster for many a year, ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, which was released in 2001. Nevertheless, since opening in 1998, on the site formerly occupied by the Dunes Hotel, the Bellagio – which, at the time, was the most expensive hotel in the world, at a cost of $1.6 billion – has become one of the most sought-after destinations for gamblers worldwide.

The casino floor, which occupies 156,000 square, hosts hundreds of gaming tables including all the usual favourites, such as baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette, and many more besides. Slot machine players can take their pick of, literally, thousands of low- and high-stakes machines, offering jackpots of up to $2 million. The Bellagio also has a world famous poker room, which is the home of the World Poker Tour (WPT), but recreational players can participate in lower-stakes, $2/$4 blind games without the fear and trepidation of taking on the ‘big boys’.

Indeed, for anyone seeking respite and diversion from gambling activities, a naturally lit, botanical conservatory situated just off the main lobby of the Bellagio features flowers, plants and decorations that reflect the changing season. In fact, the conservatory is considered a ‘must-see’ attraction for all visitors, gamblers or otherwise.