Gambling Getaways: Top 5 Vacation Spots for Casino Lovers

Dreaming of your next gambling holiday? Of white sands and turquoise waters in the warm sun by day, and hitting up the blackjack table by night? Take a load off and enjoy a break from the mundane in 2021, and start planning your resort vacation with our top five gambling vacations for the year!
A tropical beach.
Published on: 13 March 2021

If there was an industry worldwide to be hit hardest in 2020 by the recent health crisis, it just might be the travel industry. As the world recovers and vaccines get on the production line, 2021 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for gambling getaways as the travel industry bounces back from the recent depression.

Considering that we’re all in this crisis together, we’ve taken an international approach to our list of the top five gambling getaways, and included a balanced collection of casino destinations from around the globe. Sit tight as we take you through our top picks, in no particular order.

1. Las Vegas, United States

Surprise, surprise. Las Vegas is the first cab off our rank and perhaps the most famous city associated with gambling. Or infamous, depending on your idea of fun. Almost 50 million people visited Sin City in 2019, and while numbers did take a bit of a dive in 2020, we’re expecting a meteoric rise as normality returns and folks have money to burn.

This icon of American casinos is one that has gambling at the foundation of its modern history. In the post-war boom of the 1950s, with Nevada recently passing legislation regulating casino gambling, the city saw a huge development of casinos, lavish hotels, and the entertainment industry. Since then, Las Vegas has never looked back.

Visitors to Sin City can find whatever they desire as they chase the American dream up and down the famous Las Vegas ‘Strip’, and maybe even discover something they weren’t even looking for. The city is renowned for its neon lights, its absolute sea of casinos and hotel resorts, and its 24-hour energy and entertainment.

There’s room for everyone among the 70+ casinos, as the city’s offerings range from the uber exclusive and luxurious to the humble budget-friendly, with everything in between. Some of our favorites include Mandalay Bay, the MGM Grand and of course, Caesar’s Palace.

2. Monte Carlo, Monaco

Looking to add a Mediterranean destination to your list of casino getaways? Monaco’s calling. This little sovereign city-state has a well-established culture and brand of gaming luxury, and what’s more, you can enhance the renowned glitz and glamor with a dose of Mediterranean sun and salt.

Monte Carlo is the second smallest sovereign state in the world, and as a relic of the old age of city-states, it had to carve a niche in the modern world to make a name for itself. That niche? Gambling. Under Charles III of Monaco, the city established the famous Monte Carlo Casino in 1863, which continues to prosper to this day.

Due to the huge success of the casino, and spurred on by a 95% decrease in land size through cessations to France leading to Monegasque independence, Monaco ended its taxation over its residents, which led to the attraction of Europe’s and the world’s rich to reside there. This masterstroke is the success of the state and its tourism industry today.

Today, visitors can walk along the picturesque waterfront from resort to resort, taking in the beautiful sights and sounds of the Mediterranean by day, while saving the more luxurious affairs for the evening. The Casino de Monte-Carlo is our pick for this casino vacation, with the Opera de Monte-Carlo and Monte Carlo Ballet providing some premier entertainment.

3. Macau, China

Another special city on our list, Macau, along with Hong Kong, is a special administrative region of China, that again has carved out a niche on the international market and world tourism scene through fostering an extravagant gambling industry, with an insane amount of resorts to boot.

A former Portuguese colony dating back to the 16th century, the Iberian governors legalized gambing in the 1850s in an attempt to generate revenue for the government. The attempt became a successful industry, and in the 19th and 20th centuries, several concessions and granting of rights to the industry saw this small Portuguese outpost become the “Monte Carlo of the Orient”.

The city attracts a high amount of Chinese and global tourism each year thanks to its gambling industry, which is seven times larger than Las Vegas. There are 41 casinos to choose from, the biggest of which is The Venetian Macao, and our top pick for this eastern jewel among gambling holidays.

4. Cancun, Mexico

For those Americans among our readers, rest assured that you can still go on a top casino vacation outside of the country without having to make the trek to Asia or Europe. That sun-hued colorful gem south of the border has a reputation stateside for being a place to not only soak up the sun at a resort but to also indulge in more hedonistic endeavors.

A fruit platter and crockery in front of the ocean.

One of the easternmost points of the Latin country, Cancun sits in the Caribbean and along with its white beaches and turquoise waters, it’s known for its resorts, especially of the casino variation. Since the 1970s, the city has been recognized as one of the top tourist resort destinations in the world, but only recently has gambling become legal.

As well as treating yourself to some fantastic Caribbean specialities, exploring underneath the clear waters at nearby Isla Mujeres, or simply bathing in the sun, travellers to Cancun can find some top-tier gambling opportunities by the water. The Grand Oasis Resort houses the first (and the best) casino offering in Cancun – The Red Casino.

5. Aruba

Flying a little more under the radar than the other gambling getaways on our list, the island nation of Aruba in the Caribbean punches above its weight. Pairing its beachy Caribbean vibe with a more European sensibility, the consistently dry, warm climate has contributed to this little island becoming a top casino vacation destination for North America and the world.

Aruba, just above the north Venezuelan coast, is one of the last vestiges of European colonialism in the Caribbean. This Dutch colony has partially gained its independence, but still remains part of the Crown of the Netherlands today. The governing Dutch pushed tourism to the forefront of the Aruban economy, popularising gorgeous casino resorts across the coastline.

Although a stop on many Caribbean cruise liner routes, Aruba also boasts many all-inclusive resorts that deserve their own time in the sun, including:

  • Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
  • Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort
  • Barcelo Aruba
  • Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa
  • Holiday Inn Resort Aruba – Beach Resort & Casino

These resorts will not only have you not wanting for anything, you’ll only have to lift a finger to eat, drink and have a little flutter on the casino floor.

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ll undoubtedly have many questions when it comes to gambling vacations, considering the huge range of options, so like we do in all our guides, we’ve collated the most common questions we get about them.

What all-inclusive resorts have casinos?

You can find many all inclusive resorts with casinos in our top five gambling getaways, but our pick for true relaxation and having your needs met fully goes to the resorts in Aruba, notably the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino and the Barcelo Aruba. Alternatively, if you are at an all-inclusive resort without a casino, you can always play at online casinos.

What city has the most casinos?

The gambling capital of the Americas, Las Vegas, has the title for a reason. It boasts the most casinos in the world, at a staggering 122. The gambling industry in Macau eclipses that of Las Vegas, but there is less competition among its 33 huge casinos. If you are heading on a gambling vacation, make sure to brush up on the rules of roulette and blackjack rules.

Do any resorts in Mexico have a casino?

Yes, thanks to recent legal developments, gambling is on the cards in Mexico and you can find a whole host of casino resorts all over the country. Cancun houses a gem - the Grand Oasis Resort with the Red Casino. You can also check out the top online casinos in Mexico on our dedicated page.

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