Ever since gambling was legalised in Nevada in 1931 Las Vegas has had a long and glittering history as the undisputed casino capital of the world. Just the word “Vegas” brings up mental images of a brilliantly neon-lit city shining like a beacon to gamblers in the heart of the Nevada desert - a place where fortunes are won and lost and where glamour and excitement go hand in hand.
So here’s our guide to what to do and see when in Vegas – and a suggestion about enjoying all of the thrills without the expense and effort of getting yourself there. Think Las Vegas Strip and you’ll probably imagine huge and over-the- top edifices whose scale is hard to conceive – and you’d be right.
For many the most spectacular of these, and also probably the most famous is the Bellagio. Built on the site of the legendary Dunes Casino it’s also starred in countless films including “Ocean’s 11” and “What happens in Vegas”. It’s not surprising that it’s been so popular as a location as everything about it is designed to stun and one of its most famous features is the 18 acre lake outside with a spellbinding fountains show too.
If it’s the gambling at the Bellagio that interests you then you’ll find all the games you’d expect plus the poker room is said to be one of the favourites for card players in the city. Another of the highest-profile venues in Vegas is the legendary Caesars Palace.
Established in 1966 by Jay Sarno, there’s no apostrophe in the name because Sarno said he wanted everyone who went there to feel like a Caesar. It seems to have worked as it has a reputation for attracting the high rollers. Entertainment’s also big at Caesars which even has a 4,300 seat entertainment venue called the Colosseum which was originally built to house Celine Dion’s record-breaking residency.
If you’re a roulette fan then one aspect of playing the game in Vegas that you may not be so keen on is that the tables are mainly American, not European, and feature both a 0 and a 00 number, tipping the odds that little bit more in the house’s favour. Most of the casinos that do offer European tables tend to have high limits, but one exception is the Mirage – so put it on your itinerary.
No rundown on Vegas would be complete without mentioning the slots. You’ll find rows and rows of them wherever you go but for the ultimate you’ll have to head back to Caesars Palace where one machine takes $500 gold-plated tokens and pays out a $1 million jackpot. Or, of course, if you’re not a slots strategy expert then read up 888casino’s comprehensive slots guide and attempt to stay at home and take your chances online.
In fact you’ll find most of the big Las Vegas games also feature in online casinos which could prove to be a very practical alternative. After all, there may not be all the glitz and glamour in your front room but you’ll still be able to play for as long as you want to – and the dress code can be as casual as you like!