The Best Casinos in the World

The best casinos in the world combine a variety of gaming options with top-notch hotels, restaurants and entertainment. From the dazzling lights of Las Vegas to the refined glamour of Monaco, these luxury destinations have something for everyone.

Casinos are establishments for gambling, which include card games like blackjack and poker, dice games such as craps, and random number games such as roulette and baccarat. They also feature entertainment such as stage shows and live music. Some casinos are family-friendly, while others focus on high-stakes gamblers.

Unlike lotteries and other forms of gambling, which are typically anonymous, most casino games have mathematically determined odds that give the house an advantage over players. In addition to the standard odds, casinos often offer additional inducements to attract gamblers, such as free drinks, food and transportation or reduced-rate hotel rooms.

In the past, organized crime figures controlled many casino operations because they had a ready supply of cash from their illegal rackets, such as drug dealing and extortion. Mob money helped give Reno and Las Vegas their seamy reputations, but the mobsters were not content to just provide funding; they took full control of some casinos, limiting or even preventing access by legitimate businessmen and intimidating them and other casino staff.

In the 1980s and ’90s, legal businesses such as real estate developers and hotel chains bought out the mob’s interests and started operating their own casinos. Because federal anti-gambling laws allow them to lose their licenses at the slightest hint of mob involvement, these legitimate casinos are careful not to get too close to their gangster cousins.