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2 Gambling Meccas That Aren’t Las Vegas or Macau

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When most people hear the phrase “gambling mecca,” the default response is typically Las Vegas or Macau—and for good reason. These are two of the world’s most popular gambling destinations.

We are inundated with movies about Las Vegas, sometimes referred to as Sin City, and all of its wonderful glory. Meanwhile, Macau is the #1 spot for gambling in the world. In fact, and you may not know this as many people still think of Vegas as the center of gambling in the world, Macau is the largest gambling economy in the world.

Given all this and how prevalent these two places are in the minds of anyone who knows anything about gambling, you’re forgiven for not really knowing about the other possible popular gambling destinations that are alive and kicking right now.

Well, not to worry. You’re about to be ahead of the curve. So many gamblers fixate on these two places and forget about everywhere else the world has to offer.

I think one of the biggest advantages to knowing about gambling destinations that aren’t part of these two is that you can find a place that suits your temperament, your needs, and isn’t insanely packed as a tourist destination. Here’s some basic knowledge about what else is out there when it comes to the casino world. Hopefully, it can help you gain a much more enjoyable gambling experience in a place you might not expect.

London, England

London, England, is a very popular destination for tourists and travelers for many reasons. It has great historical landmarks like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Abbey Road, and many others.

And believe it or not, one of London’s most exciting reasons to visit is actually the casinos!

Unlike many gambling cities elsewhere, you’re not going to find a lot of hotel and casino resorts in London. This is due to the fact that laws were enacted after WWII. In London, you’re going to find casinos that are usually a standalone operation. Some have hotel affiliations that give discounts.

London is Packed With Casinos

There are close to 30 casinos in London that you can visit, and there are several more outside the city. But keep in mind, some casinos in London require memberships. Another fun thing to blame on post-World War II laws is the fact that casinos are required to be members-only clubs.

A lot of the time, this is only a small inconvenience. In most cases, you may play under a guest membership. These last for a short period of time, such as a week or a month. Casinos are licensed and regulated in the United Kingdom by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Unlike North America, where laws can vary based on the state or province that you play in, the UK has uniform policies and laws that casinos must follow throughout the nation.

For example, the minimum age to enter a casino in the UK is 18 years old. Visiting London is a lot different from visiting other gambling cities. This is because the driving force for these cities like Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, Atlantic City, or even Macau, is primarily gambling.

London Has a Lot More Than Gambling to Offer

As mentioned earlier, London is a tourist destination for many reasons, but the primary reason for many to visit isn’t gambling. It might be the best reason to visit, but that just isn’t what everyone has in mind when they decide to make a trip to the UK.

People probably choose to go sightseeing, witness any royal events, check out the entertainment, or go for the variety of sports available, for example. London is a very touristy place, and planning a trip can be difficult if you’re trying to avoid crowds.

Soccer (or football) is taken very seriously in London, and frequent games drive in tens of thousands of people. London’s busy months correlate with the United States’ peak season. Summer is busy, holidays are busy, and the most ideal time to plan a trip (as well as the most beautiful time) is going to be during the fall.

And if you want no crowds at all, then you’ll want to book a trip in either January or February.

When you visit a casino in London, you’ll notice some pretty major differences if you can compare it to other casinos you’ve been to around the world. One of those differences is the lack of slot machines inside the casinos.

UK gaming laws are strict concerning slot machines and limit the amount of machines that a casino might be able to have. Usually, the casinos or establishments are limited to 10 or 20 per license.

In recent years, some owners have gotten around this requirement by applying for multiple licenses. With the presence of slot machines being low, you’re going to notice a lot more table games like roulette, blackjack, and poker. But you’ll have to check it out for yourself.

London has a diverse spread of gambling opportunities. A lot of the casinos out there are really small and are changing what they have to offer every now and then, so just do your research before you go so you can know what you’re going to get yourself into before walking through the door.

If you’re a regular gambler and are visiting London, it would be in your best interest if you bought a membership for either a year or a lifetime, just so that you can really enjoy all of the benefits that come along with it.

Hopefully, you now have an entirely different perspective of London!

Singapore

Singapore is relatively new to the gambling scene, with gambling becoming legal in 2005. Despite being a complete rookie in the gambling world, Singapore has established itself as one of the best gambling destinations in the world.

Real money sports betting isn’t really a thing yet due to the strict gambling laws in the city-state. Singapore is a strict and conservative place. Don’t let that deter you from visiting its casino mecca, but just keep in mind that the conservative nation of Singapore preaches hard work and strict discipline.

Here’s a Fun Fact:

Singapore fines people for chewing gum out in public! But in the midst of all of the conservative stuff, Singapore’s government and industry saw the potential for more tourism and thousands of jobs and decided to finally legalize gambling. By 2010, two of the largest casino resorts in the world opened in Singapore. These are the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. They became two  of the most sought-after casino resorts to visit.

Stay in one of the super luxurious casino resorts, like the Marina Bay Sands, and enjoy over 350 tables in their casino. Singapore, for whatever reason, looks as though they do not want their citizens gambling. Just for a local to go gamble for a day, they are going to be forking over $70 just for a daily fee.

A Tourist Mecca

The millions of foreign tourists, however, are welcomed with arms wide open. This isn’t uncommon though. You’ll find that many centers of gambling, including Macau, are the same. They want tourists to come in and spend their money, but they don’t want the local population to become totally hooked on gambling in the meantime.

The aesthetics and design of Singapore’s gambling mecca is definitely something worth noting. With three giant hotel towers and a rooftop deck called SkyPark connecting them, Marina Bay Sands really stands out in Singapore’s skyline.

The international architect firm known as Aedas designed the complex’s look, giving it a design that is so majestic you’ll never be able to forget it. Just the view of the skyline that features Marina Bay Sands is nothing short of breathtaking.

It’s definitely a standalone structure and unique among skylines around the world. Marina Bay Sands was originally set to open in 2009 but, because its owner (the Las Vegas Sands Corp) was facing labor shortages and increasing material costs, opening day had to be pushed back for a while.

Luckily, Las Vegas Sands was able to complete the project the following year without sacrificing their original vision. The inside of the resort was designed by the world famous Canadian-Isreali architect Moshe Safdie, who says that he used decks of cards as part of his inspiration.

While the entire complex is a modern marvel, nothing stands out more than the 340-meter-long SkyPark. This is a boat-like structure that offers amazing views of Singapore and the Marina Bay below.

Conclusion

So, now you know about two other huge gambling meccas that exist, ones that are neither Las Vegas nor Macau. And you’re now aware of some pretty interesting details about the London and Singapore gambling scene.

Still, I’m over here feeling sorry for all of the Singaporeans who are having to pay almost $100 just to be able to gamble for the day.

What’s your favorite lesser-known gambling mecca in the world? Let me know in the comments.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …

View all posts by Michael Stevens

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