Las Vegas is the supremely famous home of casinos and gambling in the United States. Also known as Sin City, Las Vegas boasts over 100 casinos with over 50 of these located in the densely covered Las Vegas Strip – the roughly 4 mile road forming the epicentre of the gambling experience in the city, state, country, and indeed world! Never settling with the already spectacular range and variety of casinos, the city continues to construct new ones both around the strip and elsewhere, albeit at a slower pace given the circumstances of 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic!
While many will be acquainted with some of the more famous casinos in Las Vegas, such as the Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mirage (which all featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Ocean’s Eleven), others such as Caesar’s Palace or the Venetian might be recognizable by name, but not much else. With continued lockdowns and flight travel being difficult during the tumultuous year of 2020, we thought we’d use this article to explore these five named giants on the casino scene in Las Vegas and describe a little about what is their claim to fame and what keeps them in the hugely competitive spotlight year after year. Even if you can’t make it to them in the near future, reading about some of these amazing locations might inspire you to keep up with live casino games available online in the meanwhile!
The Bellagio has been crowned in wealth and luxury ever since its construction and opening back in 1998. Its opening ceremony cost an incredible $88 million and at the time was the most expensive hotel built on the planet having devoured $1.6 billion during its construction. Today it remains one of the higher end casinos with plenty of high stakes games on offer to its visitors, some of which are available in secluded or semi-secluded rooms. Apart from the gambling, the Bellagio is also highly competitive with world-class performances of music, dance, and so on, as well as featuring fantastic restaurant options such as the two Michelin star Picasso.
Caesar’s Palace is such a classic of the casino world that it hardly needs an expansive introduction. With iconic neoclassical architectural design, it came to define the notion of a casino for many people in the 1960s and 70s. Featuring two wings, one for the high stakes players and one for the more everyday gamblers, Caesar’s Palace has managed to eke out not one but two niches for itself. World famous performances by musicians ranging from Frank Sinatra to Mariah Carey have graced its luxurious stages. What’s more, it features gorgeous bathing areas in the style of ancient Roman baths, much befitting its name!
At the very end of the 21st century, The Venetian opened to great fanfare and much celebration in mid-1999. Almost rivalling the Bellagio in terms of costs coming in at a whopping construction budget of $1.5 billion, The Venetian has astounded and amazed its visitors ever since with its gorgeous array of architectural delights both on the interior and exterior. Replicas of famous Venetian landmarks such as the Rialto Bridge and Doge’s Palace play host to high stakes gambling as well as a wide range of conferences at the Sands Expo, which serves as the conference centre for the casino. When it comes to actual gambling, The Venetian is a casino par excellence – any game imaginable is available amidst its glorious Renaissance-themed rooms and halls.
The MGM Grand is not just a world-famous casino, it’s also the single largest hotel in the United States, and the third largest hotel in the whole world. With a history stretching back to the colourful days of the 60s, the MGM Grand has changed much over the years, ranging from an outlandish Wizard of Oz theme to today’s Art Deco style of the Hollywood heydays. Surprisingly versatile in price point both for the hotel and gambling, you might be shocked to hear that you can gamble on as little as one cent for a slot game and stay the night for well under a hundred dollars. Of course, there is no shortage of high stakes gambling in the fancier parts of the massive complex, with some slots charging up to $1,000. Nor is there a shortage of luxurious hotel rooms for those that can pay, with villas available for around $35,000 a night!
The Polynesian-themed Mirage opened in 1989 and was at that time the largest hotel in the world, as well as already a fully-fledged casino experience. Perhaps most famous for the Siegfried & Roy magic and wild animal shows between the years of 1990 and 2003, which stopped after Roy was injured by one of the animals – a famous story that is still in the news to this day! Perhaps reaching its peak of fame during this time, it’s no coincidence that it was in these years that it featured in the movie Mars Attacks! – we know that many will recognize this towering structure from the glimpses of it in this movie. There is no shortage of gambling opportunities at the Mirage, which has for a long time been one of the safest and most video casinos, after being the first to introduce full-time video surveillance on all tables regardless of stakes.