Originally published in FarAndWide.com
March 6, 2019

Infinity Pool at sunset of Skypark that tops the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino, in Singapore, from the rooftop of La Vie Club Lounge on the 57th floor.Getty Images

Any high-roller can waltz into a casino, sit down at their favorite table and let the chips fall. Whatever your game — blackjack, craps, poker or those one-armed bandits — when it comes to winning or losing money, well, a casino is a casino.

A great casino-resort, on the other hand, is a treasure that can be measured by amazing amenities, architecture, high-tech features and extravagant eateries. Go on vacation and stay at any highly-ranked hotel. But if you’ve got a jones for gambling when you travel, here are some of the world’s top casino resorts.

15. MGM Grand Casino, Las Vegas

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The gaming floor is a massive 171,500 square feet, and that includes 139 table games and 2,500 slot machines. Oh, those slots may or may not be the loosest in town, but they have been known to pay out as much as $250,000.

Skylofts is a private sanctuary/luxury hotel situated at the top of the MGM Grand. Suites range up to 1,400 square feet, and may be dual-level and/or include three bedrooms. Guests are pampered by their own 24-hour butler, and can arrange to be picked up and dropped off at the airport in a $400,000 chauffeured private car.

14. Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo, Monaco

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This jet-setting, oft-filmed (and fave setting for photographer Helmut Newton) property in Monte Carlo is just a flight of stairs away from the Place du Casino — a landmark that was the setting for “Casino Royale,” the first James Bond novel. Two other Bond movies (“Never Say Never” and “GoldenEye”) were also shot here.

There are just 99 rooms in the Hotel de Paris, with 20 offering an exclusive city view. The hotel is world-renowned for its culinary offerings, including the Michelin 3-star Louis XV and the Michelin starred Le Grill. Le Bar American is annually listed among the world’s best bars.

13. Aria Resort & Casino/CityCenter Las Vegas

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The 4,004-room Aria Resort & Casino is but one of four hotels in Vegas’ massive CityCenter complex, which covers 5.4 million square feet. When the last bulldozer left and all the technology was put into place, the final construction bill totaled $9 billion.

If you stay in the Aria, you’ll likely want to take advantage of the 24-table poker room, which is always buzzing and also offers private tables — if you just want to beat your friends with that ace on the river. When you head back to your high-tech Aria suite, don’t be alarmed when the lighting, music and temperature in your smart room are all automatically adjusted to your preferences. Sponsored by COVERGIRL

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12. Ibiza Gran Hotel, Spain

Ibiza Gran Hotel

Ibiza has a reputation for late-night activity, and if you’re not out clubbing or eating paella for dinner at midnight, there’s the Casino de Ibiza. Located in the heart of the “Golden Mile,” you can hit the tables, pull up a chair in the poker room or request an exclusive table for a private gambling party.

Each of the five-star Ibiza Gran Hotel suites offer views overlooking Old Town and the Mediterranean Sea. A 14,000-square-foot, full-service spa offers an aesthetic that is both dramatic and soothing. Sponsored by COVERGIRL

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11. Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

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Like the city in which it has survived for 50 years, the 3,348-room Caesar’s Palace has reinvented itself several times to become a luxury icon. The property houses 166,000 square feet of gaming space, and boasts an international reputation.

All of the buildings and interiors follow a style that mirrors ancient Rome, including a massive spa with Roman baths, and an outdoor multi-pool mecca that’s surrounded by elaborate mosaics and classical architecture and columns. There are 25 unique restaurants at Caesars — including signature eateries from Bobby Flay and Giada de Laurentiis — and more than 160 specialty retailers.

10. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

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One of the must-see sights in Singapore is this property’s sprawling, skyline-kissed infinity pool located on the rooftop. Down below, an extravagant casino is filled with more than 2,300 slot machines and 500 gaming tables.

You can eat at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT or Mario Batali’s Osteria Mozza, or take advantage of the high-end Banyan Tree spa. Marina Bay Sands has the feel of a living art gallery, with an array of installations sprawled on different levels, as well as a permanent exhibit devoted to the excesses of 18th century France.   Sponsored by COVERGIRL

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9. The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas

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A lavish destination that maintains a boutique-ish atmosphere, the Palazzo is connected by the Grand Canal Shoppes arcade to its Las Vegas sister property The Venetian. The Palazzo’s European-inspired casino features all the usual trappings as well as an immense, 112,000-square-foot poker room with hand-painted frescoed ceilings.

The Palazzo’s rooms are all suites — with sunken living rooms and marble-covered bathrooms. If there’s any spare time you’re not rigorously devoting to relaxing and rejuvenating in your suite, check into the multi-level Canyon Ranch SpaClub, also shared with the Venetian. Sponsored by COVERGIRL

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8. Park Hyatt Mendoza, Argentina


Inside an elegantly restored, 19th century Spanish colonial façade is the two-story Regency Casino Mendoza. European-style ambiance and personal service is enjoyed by gamblers from all over the world who come to try their luck at punto y banca, a variation of baccarat.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy fine wine or just drink away a losing streak at the blackjack tables, enjoy and take solace in the fact that the Park Hyatt Mendoza is surrounded by major wineries along the Andes mountain range — which also offers up some of the best ski resorts in Argentina.

7. Bellagio, Las Vegas

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When it was built 20 years ago (in 1998) on the Las Vegas Strip, the Bellagio’s $1.6-billion price tag was the most expensive ever for a hotel. Built by Steve Wynn and later purchased by MGM Resorts International, the 36-story property — famous for the immense dancing fountains out front — has 3,015 rooms. High-tech in-room amenities and high-end service are calling cards.

Poker players looking for high stakes games often report to Bobby’s Room, a poker room commonly called “The Office” by professional players like Daniel Negreanu, who pop in for games where the blinds might be $4,000/$8,000, and pots can sometimes exceed $1 million.  

6. Sun City Casino Resort, South Africa


There was a time when many entertainers boycotted Sun City, but with apartheid in the rear-view mirror it’s today one of the most popular casino resorts in the world for high rollers — with 850 slot machines and tables that feature blackjack, roulette, stud poker and punto baccarat.

This Las Vegas-esque resort is located in the middle of the bush — two hours from Johannesburg. Guests can go on safari or go elephant-back riding within the resort’s own private game reserve. There are two golf courses — but watch out for alligators on the 13th hole on the Lost City Course.

5. Foxwoods Resort Casino, Connecticut

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North America’s largest casino resort is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. Based in Connecticut, there are actually six casinos here, plus a bowling alley and multiple spas, as well as a whopping 38 restaurants — including three steakhouses, one of which is Craftsteak by noted restaurateur Tom Colicchio.

Accommodations range from MGM Grand at Foxwoods, which houses one of the Foxwoods spa offerings, to the secluded Two Trees Inn. At the Grand Pequot Tower, see if you can snag an exclusive villa with private butler service.

4. Wynn Las Vegas

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After Steve Wynn sold the Bellagio, he moved down the Sin City Strip and built the slightly higher-end Wynn Las Vegas for a then-record $2.7 billion. It comes complete with 111,000 square feet of casino space that includes 1,900 slot games and a 27-table poker room. Wynn (the owner) is now out of the picture, but not before he built Encore, a sister property to Wynn Las Vegas.

There are 18 high-end restaurants on-property, as well as an exclusive spa and shopping opportunities not for the “if-you-have-to-ask-the-price” crowd. The 75,000 square feet of retail space includes Oscar de la Renta, Cartier, Dior, Manolo Blahnik — and a full-service Ferrari and Maserati dealership.

3. Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

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Coming in at third with a price tag of $5 billion, the Resorts World Sentosa, on Sentosa Island off the southern coast of Singapore, includes a casino, six hotels, a Universal Studios theme park, Adventure Cove Water Park and a Marine Life Park that is home to the world’s largest oceanarium.

Go ahead and gamble at the 2,400 slot machines or the 500 table games. When you’re too tired to double down at the blackjack tables, retire to your hotel and its unique theme — whether that’s a beach villa that comes with a personal butler, or a tree-top loft in a canopy of leaves that’s perched 40 feet off the ground.

2. The Cove Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas

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It’s both cool and refreshing to play blackjack and craps poolside at The Cove. Feeling a little reckless? Try your hand at a high-end, exclusive gaming area called Sea Glass. And even though you’re out in the western Atlantic Ocean, you can still place your bets on horse races and all major sporting events at the Atlantis Race and Sports Book.

With your winnings, treat yourself and your guests to a top-notch dinner at one of 20 restaurants, including Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill or the five eateries that make up the quaint Bahamian “Marina Village.”

Lady Luck didn’t smile on you? It’s free to tour the 63-acre waterscape with 11 lagoons holding 50,000 sea creatures representing 250 species.

1. The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, China

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A 39-floor hotel on the Cotai Strip, The Venetian Macau is modeled after its sister property, the Venetian Las Vegas. This is the largest casino in the world, as well as the largest single structure hotel in Asia, and the seventh-biggest building in the world (by floor area).

Guests here are definitely livin’ large. The hotel’s Presidente suite has 12 rooms, including four bedrooms. The casino holds 6,000 slot machines and 800 gaming tables. High-rollers make use of the Paiza Club, which has a separate entrance and access to exclusive dining and lounge options.

This is a casino resort that simply can’t be beat.