Gambling has been a permanent feature of human civilization since the dawn of time, and even today, archaeologists continue to find evidence of organised gaming in dusty, ancient settlements across the globe. Gambling meccas – that is, cities where the gambling scene is a distinctive and key part of the cultural life there – are a relatively recent phenomenon. While the bright lights of Las Vegas are undoubtedly an icon of 20th century gambling and excess, things have changed since then, and the centre of gravity has moved further afield. Here’s a round-up of some of the bets cities for gambling in 2018.
If the last 10 years have shown us anything, it’s that Asia knows how to taking casino gaming to a whole new level. Casinos are a relatively recent development for this super-wealthy city state off the coast of Malaysia, but since the opening of the iconic Marina Bay Sands resort a few years back (yup, the one with that infinity pool), high-stakes gambling has become a central tenet of Singaporean nightlife. The luxury resort’s sprawling casino is open to all, and includes the single biggest casino lobby in the entire planet, as well as over 2,500 dedicated games rooms, and even several nightclubs and swimming pools onsite. Since this mega-casino raised the bars, others are following suit, with several other planned casinos now in the pipeline for this tropical island. The gaming on other in SG undoubtedly makes for one of the classiest casino experiences on Earth.
The British capital is known for a lot of things; royalty, diversity, history and fine dining, but casinos don’t tend to feature of London travel guides. Why this remains a mystery, as London has one of the most diverse casino scenes in the world, with roots stretching all the way back to the 17th Century. While the most interesting experiences tend to be found in the highly exclusive traditional casinos which dot the elite enclaves of Chelsea, Westminster and Knightsbridge, the public casinos of London are equally raucous places, and highly welcoming to outsiders. The casinos of London stand out in their competitiveness in attracting new players with valuable bonuses, much like how online casinos these days offer free spins no deposit deals, meaning that any newcomer to London eager to start playing won’t have to look to hard to find some free perks to get them started. You’ll find all types of gambler in London’s ornate casinos, in a way that reflects the diversity of this global melting pot.
Perhaps some of the gambling fans among you saw this one coming, given the attention Macau has received in the press ever since it firmly dislodged Las Vegas as the global centre of gambling a few years back. With bigger casinos, bigger prizes, and more world-class venues than any other cities on Earth by a country mile, the crown for best gambling city in 2018 still firmly remains with Macau.
More and more cities on every continent are continuing to relax their own gaming laws, so it will be interesting to see which other metropolises rise through the ranks in the years to come.