The Strangest Casinos in the World: The Most Unusual Locations to Play
Forget Las Vegas, Atlantic city and even Macau in our list of the weirdest casinos in the world.
If Munich seems too obvious or Las Vegas over the top, we have alternatives for you.
There are casinos in the strangest and most unusual places, tailor-made for those who want to treat themselves to a truly unique experience.
How about a Blackjack table with a breath-taking view? Or to enjoy the thrill of the game at altitude at the same time?
In our article on the strangest casinos, we want to take you on a journey to discover remarkable places where, while the fun of the game is the main dish, the space is seasoned with a unique and exotic ingredient.
NEVADA STATE PRISON: THE CASINO IN THE PRISON
It could only be to Nevada for the first destination of our tour of the strangest casinos.
From 1932 to 1967, Nevada State Prison provided a home to a casino.
Operated by the inmates themselves in the form of croupiers, this gaming hall existed for 35 years in a place where gambling itself should be prohibited. A contradiction in terms but one that makes it extremely interesting from a historical point of view.
However, it was never a real casino because an official license was never issued. In less formal terms it can be said that the casino was tolerated by the authorities even if not recognized in legal ways.
The security of the halls was managed internally by the inmates themselves, who were inflexible against those who tried to cheat and made no exceptions in front of the guards and out of fear against those who lost or won too much.
The games available included some of the great classics such as Blackjack, Crap and Poker, but also bets on sporting events.
The most interesting aspect is that a percentage of the income was deposited in a fund dedicated to providing support to prisoners.
The Nevada State Prison casino was closed in 1967 following a change in gambling laws. Unfortunately, the building that housed the casino – Sandstone – was also demolished.
X-TRAIN: THE CASINO ON RAILS
Train enthusiasts from all over the world can get together and bring their game-loving friends with them on this extraordinary casino journey.
Open since 2011, the X-Train casino combines the excitement of gaming tables with the gentle roll of train travel.
This luxury train takes you from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in about 5 hours, running five days a week on the Union Pacific Railroad.
It is able to carry nearly 500 people in total on 14 carriages and offers spaciousness, luxury, mega screens for sporting events and traditional board games.
The cost is high, with talk of $500 per trip against the much more modest $100 of the “normal” train journey; however, drinks and catering are included in the price.
But there will be competition in this market shortly. Virgin has been working on a competitor project for some time and has announced its launch in 2023. However, the train will have a different concept, transporting its passengers from Victorville, California, to Las Vegas in just 90 minutes.
COOBER PEDY DESERT CAVE: THE UNDERGROUND CASINO
If casinos in America can succeed in the desert, then Australians can surely respond in their own way.
It is located about 800 kilometers south of Adelaide and its underground halls take the breath away at first sight.
The town is called Coober Pedy and has a long tradition of excavation and mining.
The hotel was born from an Australian with Italian origins named Umberto Coro, his desire was to give visitors the fascinating experience of staying immersed in the rock, even underground.
His work was completed by his son in 1988 despite the difficult climatic conditions of the desert, but immediately bore fruit, winning two national awards for the development of tourism in 1989, plus further awards in the following years.
The underground casino housed by this hotel certainly does not have the glitziness of the American giants or the elegance of the ancient European ones.
But what it offers is the experience of immersing yourself in an underground room carved into the rock with a bar and gaming machines.
Maybe not the mecca for all players, but the experience is truly unique and immersive in the truest sense of the word.
THE SMALLEST CASINO IN THE WORLD IN A TAXI
When you think about it, it makes sense. Which is why the smallest casino in the world has been set up inside a taxi.
Located in Birmingham in the UK, this ‘taxi casino’ has been kitted out by Grosvenor Casino and has toured major cities in the country.
Granted there’s not exactly the widest choice of games in it. Blackjack being the only game available with a dealer at your disposal for the duration of the trip and of course bar service (it’s still a casino!).
It was inaugurated in 2016 with the aim of promoting and advertising the gambling house, but it really offers a taxi service.
You can choose to be taken to the casino for free or be whisked around the city by making a donation to the charity Carers Trust.
A CASINO ON THE WATER
So, it might not be obvious, but the Venice casino is actually built on water, as well as the rest of the city of course.
Despite the majesty and antiquity of the building, it is a masterpiece of engineering and urbanism from the 1600s.
The whole structure rests on foundations made of wooden poles deeply planted in the swamp-like silt below.
Although it might have seemed like a temporary solution, the foundations of Venice have stood using this system for many centuries and its casino, the oldest in the world, is no exception.
It’s not just the engineering that is striking, the lights reflected on the lagoon at the entrance are magical, as is the calm and beauty of the Grand Canal in the evening, accompanied by only the slightest buzz of elegant patrons coming and going.