Asia’s coolest casinos
Though new on the gaming scene (its two casinos both opened in 2010), Singapore has embraced the title of South-East Asia’s Sin City, and is set to take over from Las Vegas as the world’s No 2 gambling hub this year.
Marina Bay Sands
As you’d expect from this US$8 billion (Rs44,340 crore), 2,561-room resort, you’ll find some of Asia’s most extravagant gaming facilities under its boat-shaped roof. The ritzy casino has 600 tables and 2,500 slot machines—all illuminated by a chandelier studded with 1.32 lakh Swarovski crystals. (www.marinabaysands.com)
Resorts World Sentosa
Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park and the largest oceanarium in the world are just two attractions to keep you busy between wins at this 120-acre complex on scenic Sentosa island, where the casino alone has five restaurants, as well as regular art exhibitions and live acts. (www.rwsentosa.com)
If you like your casinos big and brash, the world’s official No 1 gambling destination is the place to flutter your cash. Home to five of the 10 largest casinos on the planet, it raked in five times the gaming income of Las Vegas in 2011.
The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel
Boasting Playboy bunnies, Venetian gondoliers and its own Manchester United football school, this US$2.4 billion (Rs13,302 crore) resort has 3,750 slot machines and 800 gaming tables spread over 55 lakh sq ft. (www.venetianmacao.com)
Built back in 1970 by Stanley Ho, Hong Kong’s ‘King of gambling’, Macau’s most famous casino has since evolved into a mega-complex with nearly 1,000 rooms and a Michelin-starred Joël Robuchon restaurant in its glittering lotus-shaped extension, the Grand Lisboa. (www.hotellisboa.com)
The first fully-licensed on-land casino in India opened in Sikkim last year. With plans afoot to develop similar venues in Daman, the dice could finally be about to roll for Indian gamers.
Mayfair Spa Resort and Casino, Gangtok
This sprawling resort on the outskirts of the Sikkimese capital is now home to Casino Mahjong, India’s first fully-licensed live gaming venue outside Goa. There are 18 card tables—including a separate room for poker—all manned by highly-trained Nepali croupiers. Just make sure you come early, as the tables fill up fast. (www.mayfairhotels.com)
Casino Royale Goa
James Bond fans will love the kitsch appeal of Goa’s largest off-shore casino, moored on the banks of the Mandovi River near Panaji. With a heli-deck and VVIP gaming room, as well as a 24-hour poker room, 50 gaming tables and 30 slot machines, it’s just the place for a dry martini and a game of roulette. (www.casinoroyalegoa.com)
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