Casino de Monte Carlo

Not to be confused with the former Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, now Park MGM, on the Las Vegas Strip, Casino de Monte Carlo, or Monte Carlo Casino, is located in the tiny, independent city-state of Monaco on the French Riviera. The Principality of Monaco is actually the second smallest country in the world, after the Vatican City State, but Monte Carlo Casino is one of four gambling establishments owned and operated by the state-controlled Société des Bains de Mer (SBM).

Founded in 1863 by businessman François Blanc, Monte Carlo Casino is magnificent, richly decorated building in the Belle Époque style. It was celebrated in the popular British music hall song, ‘The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’, made famous by Charles Coborn, in the late nineteenth century and, more recently, has become synonymous with the image of James Bond, the fictional British Secret Service agent created by Ian Fleming in the early Fifties.

Monaco is known as a ‘Billionaires’ Playground’ and almost one in three of its population are millionaires. Paradoxically, Monaco residents are forbidden, by law, from gambling, so the so-called salons privés at Monte Carlo Casino are the preserve of high-rolling tourists and foreign residents. Quite rightly, Monte Carlo Casino has a reputation for class, sophistication and, of course, lavish wealth. However, despite some more exotic offerings, including chemin de fer and punto banco, table games also include blackjack, craps, poker and roulette, while Monte Carlo Casino has nearly 1,000 slot machines, some of which have a minimum stake, per line, of just €0.01.

Foxwoods Resort Casino

Foxwoods Resort Casino falls into the category of ‘Native American’ or ‘tribal’ gaming insofar as it is located on the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation in Ledyard, Connecticut and is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. Originally founded, as Mashantucket Pequot Bingo Hall, in 1986, Foxwoods has developed out of all recognition in the last three decades or so, but still retains its huge bingo hall, capable of accommodating up to 5,000 players at a time.

All in all, the Foxwoods complex covers 9,000,000 square feet, or nearly one-third of a square mile, 344,000 square feet of which is devoted to gaming floor space, in six individual casinos. Indeed, Foxwoods Resort Casino is the second largest casino in the United States, behind only the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma, which covers 600,000 square feet. Collectively, the casinos include over 380 gaming tables, offering the usual selection of blackjack, craps, poker and roulette, plus over 6,300 slot machines.

Unsurprisingly, the Foxwoods Resort Casino has an authentic Native American theme, typified by bright colours in various patterns and geometric forms, although natural features, such as fully-grown, mature trees and waterfalls, also feature within its walls. Accommodation is provided in a total of 2,666 rooms, divided between two hotel towers; the original Grand Pequot Tower opened in 1997, followed by the MGM Grand, now known as the Fox Tower, 11 years later. The ‘wonder in the Connecticut woods’, as Foxwoods is known, also features a two-storey arcade for children and teenagers and several restaurants, including a Hard Rock Café.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa,

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, in Atlantic City, New Jersey has the distinction of being both the largest hotel in New Jersey, with just over 2,000 rooms, and the highest-grossing casino in Atlantic City. Opened in 2003, and designed as a gambling destination to rival those found in Las Vegas, Borgata was originally a joint venture between MGM Mirage and Boyd Gaming but, since 2016, has been owned outright, and operated by, MGM Resorts International. Borgata was, in fact, the first new property of its kind to open in Atlantic City for over a decade and has largely succeeded in its aim of rekindling interest in gambling in ‘America’s Favourite Playground’.

The casino floor, which occupies 161,000 square feet in total, offers 180 table games, including the usual selection of baccarat, craps, roulette and so on, and over 3,000 state-of-the-art slots, in various denominations. No pun intended, but poker is a big deal at Borgata, too; the poker room, which is the largest in Atlantic City, was installed as part of a $200 million expansion programme in late 2005 and early 2006, and features regular tournaments, including the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open and Borgata Winter Poker Open. Sports bettors are also more than amply catered for at Borgata, with a sportsbook, aptly named the ‘Race & Sports Book’ – the only one of its kind in Atlantic City – providing access to thoroughbred harness racing and other sports via individual, flat-screen monitors.

Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Las Vegas, or simply Wynn, on the Las Vegas Strip, is the flagship of Wynn Resorts Ltd., the corporation founded by Steve Wynn, the former chairman of Mirage Resorts, Inc., in 2002. In 2000, Wynn sold Mirage Resorts to MGM Grand and, the same year, bought the Desert Inn, also on the Las Vegas Strip, for $270 million. To make way for the new resort, which nowadays covers 215 acres, or 87 hectares, Wynn demolished the main tower of the Desert Inn in 2001 and the remainder four years later.

After legal wrangling surrounding the purchase of private properties on Paradise Avenue, Wynn Las Vegas was built, at a cost of $2.7 billion, and opened on April 28, 2005, 55 years to the day since the original opening of the Desert Inn. Located at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sands Avenue, Wynn Las Vegas has, in the meantime, become one of the most popular, if not the most popular, luxury resort and casino complexes on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Wynn Las Vegas Hotel, which stands 614 feet high, offers a total of 2,716 rooms, of various sizes, on 45 floors, while substantial portions of the complex are devoted to conference centre and retail space. The casino, itself, covers 189,000 square feet and offers a wide variety of table games and slots, plus a sportsbook and one of the most highly-regarded poker rooms in Las Vegas.