For many in the Western world, the iconic image of the casino is inextricably linked to Las Vegas, a city that has positioned itself as the gambling capital of the world. However, it might surprise you to learn that some of the best casinos in the world exist outside of Vegas, on the other side of the world, in fact.
Ever since Macau surpassed Las Vegas’s annual gambling revenue in 2006, the casino industry in Southeast Asia has grown by leaps and bounds. Currently, three out of the top five largest casinos in the world are located in Macau. The Venetian Macao is a more massive, louder, brighter version of the same hotel and casino in Vegas.
The rest of Southeast Asia is racing to catch up with Macau, with countries like Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Singapore all opening integrated resorts and rolling back stringent regulations on gambling.
Even in countries where land-based gambling is still forbidden, like Thailand and Taiwan, online casinos have been established and are hugely popular, allowing returning tourists to gamble online.
So, if you’re on a tour of Southeast Asia and you’ve missed taking a flutter at a local casino or taking advantage of online offers, like the house of fun free coins, then don’t worry. We’ve put together a list of some of the best tourist destinations in Southeast Asia for casino lovers to visit.
Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, has spent the last few years building itself a reputation as the center of fine hotels, fine dining, and even finer casinos. Not only has the city established itself as a center of world-class dining, but the bright lights of Manila are also surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Holidaying in the Philippines means you have a tremendous amount of choice when it comes to your entertainment and relaxation.
You might visit the sun-soaked white sands of the island of Boracay and relax on its beautiful beaches. Inland, you can see what some consider being a contender for the Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World, the Banaue Rice Terraces. Built 2000 years ago, these extensive irrigation terraces were cut right into mount Ifugao using only hand tools.
Once you’ve spent some time enjoying the Philippines’ natural beauty and history, you can unwind at some of the best restaurants in the world, including the iconic Nobu Hotel Manila.
After dinner, there is a vast range of theaters to visit and you can indulge your high-roller tendencies at private gambling rooms like the Li Ying VIP Club and Qi Long.
Singapore plays host to one of the most iconic hotels in Southeast Asia, and perhaps the world, the Marina Bay Sands.
Inside this massive hotel complex is one of the larger casinos in Singapore, boasting 15,000 square meters of floor space, 600 gaming tables, 1,500 slots and is topped off by the world’s largest Swarovski crystal chandelier. Classy!
If you want to break from the hustle and bustle, we suggest the beautiful Gardens by the Bay. This vast expanse of incredible terraces is an eye-popping mix of architecture and gardening and even features a 114-foot indoor waterfall.
Japan is a relatively recent addition to the Southeast Asian gambling scene, having only voted to allow the construction of casinos on the home islands in 2018.
Since then, a considerable number of companies have taken part in the bidding process to construct integrated casino resorts in the cities of Osaka, Tokyo, and Yokohama. While that process is still ongoing, there are still many reasons to visit Japan.
From the ancient temples and onsen of Kyoto to the breathtaking natural beauty of Mount Fuji, Japan has a lot to offer visitors. You might spend some time visiting the famous Zao Fox Village and cuddle some baby foxes or take part in one of the 200,000 matsuri festivals that take place all year round.
You’ll also be happy to know that gambling on Kōei kyōgi or public sports, including horse racing, bicycle racing, powerboat racing, and asphalt speedway motorcycle racing, and Pachinko are all entirely legal.