Casinos come in all shapes and sizes, from the vast integrated resorts found in Las Vegas and Macau, to smoky tribal poker rooms with just a handful of well-worn tables. Most are in tourist hotspots that attract visitors from all over the world, others are in small towns where local footfall is at the heart of the business.
For some casinos, however, part of the draw is the unusual locations in which they have been built. From planes to trains, via basements and caves, casinos can be found almost anywhere. Below is a run-down of some of our favourite unusual casino locations.
North Cadbury Court is a beautiful private house located in the quaint village of Yeovil in Somerset. The original building was constructed as a medieval hall in the early 1300s, and has since been converted into a private residence. Today, the house is used as a venue and events space boasting 21 bedrooms, a dining hall with seating for 96 and a ball room that can accommodate 150.
But it is below ground where things get really interesting. The owners recently converted part of the basement into an underground casino. Despite the low ceilings, the space can hold up to 30 punters and offers a blackjack table, roulette wheel, and poker room. The games are run by local croupiers, and use of the casino is reserved only for those who book out the whole house for an event.
This makes it not only one of the smallest casinos in the world, but one of the most exclusive.
Going even deeper underground, the Desert Cave Hotel, located in the outback town of Coober Pedy, Australia, offers guests the opportunity to play at 16 subterranean poker machines during their stay.
There is only one casino in South Australia, an 850km drive away in Adelaide, so locals and tourists alike flock to the Desert Cave Hotel and descend below ground to get their gambling fix in cool and calm surroundings.
The hotel celebrates dug-out-style living, boasting an underground shopping arcade where guests can buy a piece of locally-mined opal, as well as a bar and games room. In other words, plenty of opportunities to spend their winnings.
At first glance, there’s nothing unusual about the location of the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois. Built in 2011, the modern casino is located just minutes away from downtown Chicago and the O’Hare International Airport. Inside, it has more than 1,000 slots machines including Wheel of Fortune, Quick Hit and Lucky 8, as well as 50 tables including poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat games.
So far, so ordinary. Until you discover the Rivers Casino is actually built on a puddle, or, to be more precise, a shallow pit of water. This is to ensure the property complies with state gaming law, which only permits riverboat casinos.
It’s a creative way of complying with state gambling law, and earns the Rivers Casino a place on our list.
When it comes to unusual casino locations, how about your living room, bedroom or even bathroom. Developments in virtual reality (VR) technology and the googles/headsets required to port players between real and digital worlds mean it is now possible to gamble from the comfort of your own home. SlotsMillion launched the world’s first VR casino in 2015, allowing players to explore a fully equipped interactive casino floor for the first time.
They can wander round clusters of slots machines in search of a theme that takes their fancy, or watch other players take on the house in a game of high stakes blackjack. When they are done spinning the reels they can relax in the lounge, and chat to their friends.
Players just need access to a desktop computer or laptop, a pair of virtual reality goggles and an internet connection to enter the casino. Which means they can play from a whole host of unusual places – the work canteen, the library, even while commuting on the train.
The sky really is the limit when it comes to unusual casino locations, thanks to a concept from Airjet Designs and Designescence. By combining their bright minds and creative talents, they have produced designs for a casino that can be installed on airliners and private jets, allowing players to wager while 30,000 feet above ground.
The Casino Jet Lounge features casino games tables, a bar, and space for passengers to move around, relax and mingle. The idea behind the project was to recapture the golden age of air travel, where people would meet and share a social experience together.
The designs first surfaced a couple of years ago, with certain aspects incorporated into other projects they have since worked on. But as airliners continue to up the ante when it comes to the experience offered to their first-class customers, it won’t be long before the Casino Jet Lounge is a common feature on most long-haul flights.