There are hundreds and thousands of casinos dotted across the globe and some are nestled in the most unconventional locations you can imagine. From casinos on trains and airplanes to mountain top gambling dens only accessible by skyway car — here’s a handful of casinos that have gone completely against the norm when it comes to location and the gambling experience they offer thrill seekers.
London has always had fantastic options for casinos. You only have to step into places like John Aspinall’s Clermont Club and Les Ambassadeurs to witness the true decadence of British gambling. While the Hippodrome is the island’s largest casino, the smallest licensed casino can be found in the backseat of a black London cabbie.
The mini gambling hub, which was established by the Grosvenor Casino in Birmingham, packs the full experience with a backseat dealer, live sports coverage, and a minibar to get the first night’s drinks flowing. The ride is even on the house if you take the cab to any other casinos run by the Grosvenor.
Desert Cave Hotel
If you’re looking for a more calm and tranquil setting to place some bets, a trip into the Australian Outback desert will see you be able to gamble inside a casino carved into the mouth of a rocky landscape. The cozy underground casino features 16 poker machines, along with a full bar, and desert shopping arcade.
The venue is located approximately 500 miles away from the nearest city, so it really is a unique experience that promises plenty of quiet in addition to tons of fun.
Prisons have always been rife with gambling. It’s considered a daily practice for inmates as a means of keeping themselves emotionally charged. Though the casinos in prisons aren’t your usual kind owned by billionaires with hundreds of games to play, there are genuine gaming tables where prisoners are able to enjoy the classic games like poker, baccarat, craps, blackjack, and even sports betting.
Between the 1930s and 1960s, there were even fully operational casinos in some state prisons until they all later got shut down. The irony is that gambling actually produced a positive change in the men’s behavior, and conflict between inmates was noticeably reduced according to studies — probably because they were finally able to settle some debts!
We’re all used to being offered perfume and scratchcards on our flights, but now the sky really is the limit when it comes to entertainment and gambling on planes. Companies like Singapore Airlines used to have slot machines on some aircraft during the 80s, while Swiss Air has been known to offer classic games like blackjack and poker on flights over the years. Virgin already toyed with the idea of an inflight casino, as did Ryanair and a few others.
The only one that went through with the concept is the Jet Lounge; an independently-owned casino providing table games and a luxury service for private jets. Unfortunately, the casino isn’t permitted on commercial flights yet, which is too bad considering how much time it would kill on long-haul journeys!
The Rivers Casino (Des Plaines) is a few minutes away from the O’Hare International Airport in Illinois. It might not look like much to marvel at from the outside, but what makes this casino so special is the fact that it was constructed on top of a giant puddle!
The reason for its strange location is because casinos are only legally permitted to operate on water — which is why most casinos operate on riverboats in the state. The owners of Rivers Casino took this law in the most literal sense imaginable and opened the casino in 2011. It still continues to operate with more than 1,000 slot machines and over 50 classic table and specialty games.
Ice Casino Antarctica
At the bottom of the world is a tiny Argentinian town with a population of 60 residents and 10 families. The Esperanza Base is one or two settlements stationed in the Antarctic peninsula, and despite the bitter cold and grey landscape, there is a lot more color to the town than meets the eye.
The community members are highly sociable creatures and town gatherings are a biweekly event when the weather permits. During the blizzards, the adult residents keep themselves busy playing games at the casino or working indoors, while the children go to school or socialize in the community hall.
The North Cadbury Court manor is situated in Yeovil, Somerset, and houses one of the smallest casinos in the world with a capacity of up to 30 people. For £7,500, you can opt for a two-night stay at the medieval manor and make use of its modern facilities like the indoor pool and spa, gym, billiards room, tennis courts, golf course, and the venue’s beautiful botanic gardens with a nearby lake.
The casino itself sits in the underground cellars beneath an old estate that predates back to medieval times. Here, players and party-goers are able to enjoy a full night of disco dancing and casual gambling with games like blackjack, roulette, and poker.
If you’re someone who simply cannot wait to hit the green tables, step onboard the Las Vegas Railway Express for an alternative mode of transport to reach the bright lights of Sin City. Passengers can place their bets on a wide selection of popular casino games as they savor a cocktail in one of the 20 luxurious carriages. The X Train onboard kitchen also provides an exclusive catering service to passengers, as well as a host of other services and activities for them to enjoy. At present, there are only 12 services in operation, but the company said it will be looking to open more routes to and from several other city destinations later this year.
The world is full of weird and wonderful casinos. If you’re someone who is looking for an alternative way to gamble beyond the USA and Europe, be sure to book yourself a stay in some of Asia’s finest and strangest venues with casinos like Resorts World in Genting and the floating Macau Palace in Macau.
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