Casinos aren’t just confined to the West. Many countries across East Asia also have their own thriving gambling markets – and they’re ideal if you want to explore the gaming scene on sunnier shores. If you’re looking for a gamblers’ paradise that’s a little different to Las Vegas, then Lucky Nugget can help you out. In the last part of our series of world casinos, we look at the best East Asian casinos.
Macau and Singapore are the two most obvious gaming destinations – coming in as the second- and fourth-largest gaming markets in the world, respectively. But there’s other countries across East Asia that the savvy gamer should know about, too.
The Venetian Macao, Cotai Strip, Macau
If you want to visit the largest casino in the world, then forget about heading to Foxwoods or WinStar Resort in the USA: instead, catch a flight to Macau and make a beeline for the buzzing Cotai Strip. There’s 550,000 square feet of casino floor space, with 800 gaming tables and a massive 3,400 slot machines.
The casino is themed after Venice, so the interior is suitably opulent and elegant. Canals run through the inside of the casino, complete with warbling gondoliers, and the main play area is divided into four different areas. Play to your heart’s content in the Golden Fish, Red Dragon, Phoenix, and Imperial House sections, or pay a trip to the Cotai Arena to watch live sports events and huge concerts. And the venue is open 24 hours a day, so the fun never has to end.
Marina Bay Sands, Downtown Core, Singapore
If you’ve ever seen a photo of Singapore’s skyline, you’ll have noticed the strange three-pillared building topped by a horizontal boat-shape. It’s easy to see even in the crowded city, and is one of the most photographed buildings in the world – and this is where you’ll find Marina Bay Sands. The casino boasts 160,000 square feet of gaming space, with 700 table games and 2,500 gaming machines.
There’s never a dull moment in the Marina Bay Sands resort, as the complex is designed to entertain you. There’s a million square feet of convention space, theatres, entertainment venues, and a museum. More than 50 restaurants occupy the buildings, including nine separate fine dining options. And if that wasn’t enough, head to the roof terrace: there’s a hectare of parkland balanced atop the 55-storey towers, including an infinity pool that gives you fantastic views over the city. This is definitely one of the best East Asian casinos.
Resorts World Genting, Genting Highlands, Titiwangsa Mountains, Malaysia
There is only one casino in Malaysia, but it’s where a casino empire began. It’s also an amazing property, nestled in the mountains on the border between Pahang and Selangor – about an hour north of Kuala Lumpur, the capital. It opened in 1965, and has undergone many extensions and renovations to keep it as a top-of-the-range luxury casino resort.
There’s 200,000 square feet of casino space here, holding more than 3,000 slots and 400 gaming tables as well as electronic table games. There are performance venues, bars, clubs, farms, a temple, a mosque, and a gondola lift giving amazing views. There’s also endless variety in choose where to stay: there’s five different hotels, including the First World Hotel (the largest hotel in the world, with 7,351 rooms). If you like your gaming to take place in a serene mountain paradise rather than a neon city, then this is the casino you’ve been dreaming of.
Kangwon Land Casino, Jeongseon, Gangwon, South Korea
Many new casinos are being planned in South Korea: the country wants to increase its revenue and become a top gaming location, capitalizing on the tourism that fuels Incheon and Jeju Island’s economies. Many of the current casinos are small venues, operating inside of luxury hotels, but Kangwon Land Casino is a different kind of entity. It’s the only place where Korean nationals can gamble: as such, it’s responsible for 50% of the country’s gaming profits.
The casino has an impressive 293,757 square feet of space. Pull up a chair at one of the 200 table games, or have a spin on the 1,360 gaming machines the line the halls. The casino is open from 9am to 4am during the week, and stays open till 6am at the weekend, making it perfect if you like to start your gambling early. Enjoy free drinks, a top-class buffet, and mixing with both tourists and locals in the busy casino.
Resorts World Manila, Newport City, Manila, Philippines
With 65 casinos spread across 32 cities, the Philippines is full of casinos which attract wealthy tourists and businessmen from around the world – particularly nearby China. As the Chinese government cracks down more on its citizens travelling to Macau to gamble, people instead head further afield, and the Philippines is a popular choice. It has its share of integrated resorts, but Resorts World Manila was the first.
The resort is opposite the main international airport, so it’s easy to land in Manila and head straight for the casino. There’s an impressive 323,000 square feet of casino space, spread out over three floors. Guests have their choice of four hotels and nine signature restaurants, as well as a sprawling mall, a theatre, and a luxurious spa. Manila is aiming to become the home of the best East Asian casinos – and with casinos like this, it’s easy to see the appeal.
No matter whether you want to explore the glitzy casino offerings of Macau, the up-and-coming charm of the Philippines or the single sensational casino in Malaysia, there are gambling venues in East Asia to suit everyone. The hard question is where to visit first – we hope you’ve got your passport ready…