6 amazing casino designs
Casino design is an intoxicatingly interesting subject full of subterfuge, intrigue and secrecy. These buildings must be appealing to high-rollers, standard players and casual visitors alike. Yet they need to stand out in the surrounding landscape and not be too garish to put off locals and potential new customers as well. It’s a tricky business for any would-be architect looking to design a casino that appeals to everyone.
Inside the building is where it gets even more interesting, too. Then there are famous casinos where the floor design mimics the layout out of a fairy-tale maze, with temptation laying around every corner – so that punters are less inclined to leave without having one more flutter.
But above all, most casinos are designed to be opulent and eye-catching, inside and out. The best casinos turnover the most profit, so they have extra cash to spare – and some are amazing feats of architecture in their own right. Let’s take a look at some of the most striking casinos in the world.
Morpheus Casino, Macau
Famed Iraqi-British architect Zaha Habid was the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and one of her last assignments before her death in 2016 was to design the stunning Morpheus Casino in Macau.
Designed as an intriguing exoskeleton, the building cost a reported $1.1 billion to erect and helped the owners realise their dream of creating a building that was flamboyant and ‘insane’. The 42-storey construction features a hotel as well as a casino and demonstrates stunning futuristic architecture which makes it stand out in a heaving metropolis.
Standing out from the crowd is what casinos must do in Macau, the ‘Vegas of the East’, and Morpheus – the fifth and final hotel tower in the City of Dreams – goes all out to achieve this aim. Owned by Malco Resorts, inside Morpheus is nearly 500 gaming tables featuring poker, blackjack and roulette – plus exclusive ‘gaming salons’ where visitors can request access.
The Bellagio, Las Vegas
If you’re familiar with any type of popular culture, you’ll undoubtedly heard of the Bellagio before as it’s featured all manner of well-known films, music videos and TV shows. And the reason it’s shown on the big screen so often is because it’s a simply stunning feat of architecture.
Owned by MGM Resorts International, the most impressing aspect of the Bellagio is the sprawling 14,000 square-foot garden that is regularly updated and changed by a team of expert horticulturalists and landscape designers. Floral displays are often described as stunning and recently a Chinese New Year theme inspired wide-world acclaim. Tables games here include baccarat, three-card poker and craps – a Vegas favourite.
One of the interesting facts about the Bellagio is there are no clocks on the wall. Nor do any casinos in Vegas. That’s to make sure players don’t keep an eye on the time, so they keep playing for longer. It’s just one of many intriguing secrets architects use to persuade people to gamble. Here you can find out more about why every inch of a casino design serves a commercial purpose – you might be surprised at a few.
The Venetian, Las Vegas
We’re back in the Nevada desert again, this time to visit the stunning Venetian Casino. As the name would suggest, its design is inspired by the mesmeric floating Italian city of Venice.
Owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands since 1999, the complex is absolutely huge, and standing at 36 stories high really stands out in the Las Vegas landscape. Inside, the architects have managed to steer clear of the bawdy tack of other Las Vegas casinos and instead have fostered a classy atmosphere.
To bring the true feeling of Venice home, guests can take a gondola ride around the casino as they circumnavigate the enormous venue. It’s also a smart move by the casino designers as it’s much harder to get up and leave a casino with a fully-functioning gondola service than it is to leave a bog-standard one!
And let’s not forget the gaming itself. Poker, baccarat, slots – you name it, the Venetian has it in its huge 120,000 square foot interior.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – Atlantic City
Atlantic City was originally established as a health resort in the 19th century, but now its home to towering buildings, impressive architecture and celebrity intrigue. The Borgata Hotel & Casino is in perfect equilibrium with the vibe of Atlantic City.
The hotel – owned by MGM International – first opened its doors in 2003 and was built in a style encapsulating both Tuscan and Modernism themes. The main tower of the resort is the third largest building in Atlantic City and cuts an impressive figure on the landscape with its façade of reflective gold glass.
As the name suggests, there is also a hotel built into the resort, which cost an estimated $400 million to complete. The hotel, nicknamed ‘The Water Club’ has a two-story spa in it called ‘Immersion’ as well as a long list of boutique retail outlets. The casino is a beast – with 3,000 slot machines and over 180 table games to entertain its guests.
Not content at that, owners MGM Resorts International decided to open a Festival Park in 2016 at a reported cost of $14 million. The venue holds up to 4,500 people and brings a real Las Vegas style-vibe to the Borgata. If you want to take luxury to the next level too, you can take advantage of one of Borgata’s private jets that flies guests in from all across America.
Casino De Monte Carlo, Monaco
Despite their best efforts of imitation, American casinos will never be able to recreate the beauty of this 19th-century venue. The idea of opening a dedicated casino in Monaco was first pioneered by Princess Caroline in an attempt to avoid financial ruin for the ailing Monegasque economy.
The exterior of the building features a stunning baroque façade, and inside Belle Epoque interiors are complimented by walls lavishly adorned with portraits and paintings much older than the United States of America.
Casino De Monte Carlo is probably one of the most famous gambling resorts in the world, having featured in several incarnations of James Bond as well as Ocean’s 12 to name but a few.
In its elegant gaming rooms, this casino offers blackjack, roulette and Texas Hold’Em Poker – and one of the most breathtaking views across the Riviera. If it’s good enough for 007, it’s good enough for you.
Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore
Casting the net outside of Europe is Singapore’s first designated casino situated on the island of Sentosa. Opened in 2010 at a cost of around $4.9 billion, the resort hosts a casino with 1,500 different rooms and over 16,000 square foot of gaming space.
Within the resort are several high-class restaurants, an aquarium and a Universal Studios theme park, for when the gambling gets too much.
The entire resort was designed by American architect Michael Graves and features incredible futuristic designs both within the casino and the wider resort. Further to this, guests can head down to the Lake of Dream – a tribute to the former attractions on the island – and check out a show that encompasses water, fire and light produced by Emmy-award winner Jeremy Railton.
The growth of the gambling economy can be a future driver of architectural advancement, with casino owners eager to create a structure that will wow their customers and out-do their competitors. If you ever have the privilege of visiting any of these locations – make sure you savour the experience.
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