Can online casino games live up to the real, bricks, mortar, and tuxedo experience?
There are plenty of amazing casino destinations around the world to enjoy traditional card games, spins of the roulette wheel, and iconic slot machines. Whether it’s a crazy bucket list blowout in Vegas or a more sophisticated trip to Monte Carlo, a casino visit is a great night out, full of glitz, glamour, and excitement.
But in recent years casinos have made their way online, and now that mobile is a viable platform for gaming, much of the fun, atmosphere, and potential for winning some cash is appealing to an ever-widening demographic. But can online casino games live up to the real, bricks, mortar, and tuxedo experience? Let’s find out.
Top casino destinations
There are a few standout destinations for casino lovers, and they usually come replete with tantalising dining options, breathtaking entertainment, and high-end shopping. Here are a few.
One of the most iconic casino destinations in the world, not just for the glitz and glamour of the millionaire’s playground, but also for the Formula One Grand Prix, with the world’s fastest cars whizzing by once a year. Monaco is up there when it comes to old-school glamour, and you’ll need to dress to impress — tuxedos and gowns are de rigueur at the card tables and roulette wheels.
It’s definitely more of a blackjack and baccarat type of venue, not usually associated with slots (although there are some machines available). For those who love to play slot games, online casinos offer a better selection, with myriad themes to choose from and ever-evolving graphics and gameplay. And generally, online slots have a better RTP (return to player) ratio than those in land-based casinos. And, although you can play from your living room, there’s nothing to stop you from getting into your glad rags, if you so desire.
On many a bucket list, the self-styled ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ is full of iconic casinos and landmarks, with many A-list stars flocking to take up musical residencies (Kylie is currently holding court), new attractions such as the incredible Sphere venue, and a range of festivals and other events across the year. It’s been the backdrop for many a classic movie, and the perfect place for a wild holiday.
You’ll find many of the casinos have much more relaxed dress codes than in Monaco, as attested to by the rows of tracksuit-clad old ladies sitting at the slot machines all day. Saying that, to enter some of the high-roller rooms you may have to look a bit smarter. There are loads of great places to eat in Las Vegas, from traditional southern-style BBQ to Asian fusion, and you can even find a British-style pub with fish and chips, although how authentic they are is up for debate. In any case, a visit to Sin City is never going to be boring.
Often called the ‘Las Vegas of Asia’, Macau’s gambling industry is actually worth as much as that of Sin City, although before the pandemic hit in 2020 it was worth three times the amount. Again, there are major, iconic casinos such as Venetian Macao, with entertainment, great food, and plenty of fun stuff for kids to do as well (a waterpark and various other things).
But there is much more interest beyond the casinos on this vibrant Chinese island. It was a Portuguese colony, and visitors can find plenty of interesting dining options away from the big resorts, including authentic Pasteis de nata (egg tarts) at Koi Ko Bakery or Lord Stow’s, plus a whole range of Portuguese/Chinese fusion cuisine. For history lovers, there are also lots of options, including old churches, relics from colonial times, and Mandarin’s House, home of theoretician and reformer Zheng Guanying.
If you don’t have wanderlust, then online casinos might be more your bag. And with ever-advancing smartphone technology, and game developers falling over each other to bring out more and more sophisticated games, that’s fair enough.
We’ve seen lots of interesting developments over the last few years, including the widespread adoption of live-dealer poker, blackjack, and roulette. And slots, as we mentioned before, are growing ever more immersive, with the kind of graphics and gameplay you’d normally associate with regular video games.
Itchy feet and money to spend? Casino destinations around the world make for unforgettable holidays, whether you’re a cautious gambler or a gutsy high-roller, and you’ll find plenty of other things to do on your trip, if you can tear yourself away from the gaming halls. But homebodies don’t need to miss out on the action either, with immersive online experiences bringing the action and atmosphere of the casino into the palm of their hands.