We examine some of the most unusual casino locations in the world, including trains, planes, and prisons! Casinos may thrive in the most unlikely of locales, from the hottest to the coldest regions of the world.
In order to discover a Blackjack table with a view or a roulette wheel that will make your ears explode, perhaps you should explore beyond Monaco and Las Vegas.
To be honest, ambition often raised the bar too high, and some of these great casinos are still little more than pipe dreams. Here are some of the casino fantasies that succeeded and others that failed, in our opinion.
1. X-Train, Las Vegas, USA
You wouldn’t expect to be able to spend the time on your train trip by playing at a variety of casino gaming tables anywhere other than Las Vegas. On the five and a half hour journey from Los Angeles to Sin City, the X-Train was planned to begin service in 2011. Along the route, travelers would have lots of opportunities to gamble.
Sadly, the X-Train idea was never taken farther than the drawing board, so any wagering on the train must now be done online. To allow visitors to travel from LA to Vegas in the lap of luxury, a new X-Train is however planned. However, if CEO Michael Barron has his way, luxurious X-Hotels with on-site casinos will be a part of the total X-perience even if casinos won’t be present on this train.
2. North Cadbury Court, Somerset, UK
In the stunning South-West of England, North Cadbury Court is a 16th-century country estate that provides paying visitors with a luxurious getaway. There are plenty of alternatives for entertainment in this expansive estate, including a bar room, snooker room, indoor pool, and jacuzzi.
Additionally, there is an unusual underground casino where a croupier will host all of your favorite casino games. In the main building’s cellars, there are blackjack, roulette, and poker rooms. For those who want to dance the night away, there is also a disco area in the next cellar.
3. Casino Jet Lounge
The airborne casino is another flight of fancy that has remained stuck on the runway. Several years ago, luxury aviation designers Airjet Designers teamed up with French airline interior design firm Designescence to create the Casino Jet Lounge casino concept for the Boeing 777.
Incredible though it was, the real thing never got off the ground. Too expensive, too exclusive, and it was always going to be tricky keeping the roulette wheel level.
Virgin also briefly flirted with the idea of adding casinos to its stand-up bars in first and business class. In 1981, Singapore Airlines installed lightweight slot machines in the aisles of its planes. However, that particular experiment lasted only two months.
4. Esperanza Base, Antarctica
Ice bars and ice hotels have sprung up all over the world, so why not an ice casino? Well, the casino at the Esperanza Base in Antarctica may not be frozen, but it does offer a gaming experience in one of the remotest parts of the world.
Around 60 people live on the Argentinian Esperanza Base year-round, and their primary communal center has been dubbed the “casino.” As “esperanza” means “hope,” it may be appropriate for a casino in the remote southern part of the globe to give its locals and any daring outsiders who may stop by the hope of gaming success.
5. Desert Cave Hotel, Coober Pedy, Australia
Underground casinos come in two flavors: illegal and below street level. Fortunately, better regulation and sensible law is making illegal casinos increasingly redundant. This is why we are looking down – at casinos (literally) under the ground.
The Desert Cave Hotel in the South Australian town of Coober Pedy is one of the best underground locations for a game of Blackjack or Video Poker. The former opal mine is now a hotel with subterranean rooms, a bar, and “the only underground poker machines in the world” in the game room. The Desert Cave Hotel casino is one to explore if you’re looking for an unusual gambling experience. For the claustrophobic casino enthusiast, it’s a nightmare.
6. Taxi Cab Casino, London, UK
This was one of the tiniest casinos on our list, allowing players to enjoy some of their favorite games while riding in the back of a black cab in Britain. While there wasn’t enough room for a full-sized roulette table, guests may play blackjack with a live dealer and drink from the fully equipped bar while doing so.
The ‘World’s Smallest Travelling Casino’ was set up in 2016 to celebrate the summer of sport which included the European football finals, and offered free rides to passengers in a number of British cities including London, Glasgow, and Birmingham.
This casino is no longer operating though, so don’t expect a croupier to be seated opposite you next time you hail a cab in the UK.
7. Prison Casino, Nevada, USA
Although a casino may not seem like a natural fit for the Nevada State Prison, an inmate-run gambling enterprise ran there for 35 years with the full support of the prison administration. Between 1932 until 1967, the casino ran smoothly alongside and for the benefit of the prisoners, playing host to a captive audience with games including blackjack, craps, and poker.
A succession of wardens were happy to keep this prison casino running, considering it to be a positive distraction for the prisoners. It was only a bill was passed in 1967 outlawing prison casinos that this gaming establishment was forced to close its doors.
8. Rivers Casino, Chicago, USA
One peculiar casino has closed as a result of the liberalization of casino gambling laws in the US. In Illinois, the Rivers Casino was constructed in 2011 over a sizable, shallow body of water. Casinos had to sail before they could start operating on the water at first, in addition to having to operate on water. Thankfully, by the time Rivers Casino opened for business, the latter stipulation had been relaxed.
By establishing itself as a “riverboat,” the strange arrangement permitted the hotel to abide by the state’s casino gaming regulations. Legislators loosened the rules in 2019 and gave the casino a license to become the first casino in the state to be able to conduct business on dry ground.
9. Casino Pyongyang, North Korea
North Korea has a few casinos despite the fact that we generally do not connect the country with amusement, much less casino gaming. North Korea does not allow its citizens to gamble, but the Casino Pyongyang does provide possibilities for foreigners, especially those from China.
The Yanggkado International Hotel’s basement houses the Casino Pyongyang, which is open late into the night until three in the morning local time. Visitors can test out a variety of slot machines, though probably not the most modern ones you’d find in Las Vegas, as well as some gaming tables with classic casino games.
Chinese tourists can visit the Imperial Hotel and Casino in the North Korean port city of Rason to satisfy their want to gamble there.
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