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You Don't Have to Be a Gambler to Appreciate These Bizarre Casinos From Around the World

Picture of Alex Jordan
Travel Editor
Updated: 10 May 2017
As if it wasn’t easy enough to have a flutter 24/7 on your phone or laptop, from subterranean gambling rooms to virtual reality poker tables, you’d be amazed at some of the places you can find a casino. Even if Las Vegas is a gambler’s paradise, there are plenty of other places to explore that don’t require a transcontinental ticket for any would-be James Bonds out there.

The basement casino

The casino at North Cadbury Court is the real deal, ideal for anyone looking for a slice of Monte Carlo in the South West of England. The original building, located in the quaint village of Yeovil, Somerset, was constructed as a medieval hall in the early 1300s and has since been converted into a private residence –boasting 21 bedrooms, a 96-seater dining hall and a ballroom.

For those able to take their eyes off the resplendent decor upstairs, a whole host of treasures await below in the recently converted basement. The owners have turned their old wine cellars into a gambler’s paradise, worthy of Ian Fleming’s Bond, with room for up to 30 guests and offering the less-than-holy trinity of blackjack, roulette and poker, all run by local croupiers.

© North Cadbury Court

The underground casino

If you like to gamble while pretending you’ve travelled back in time to an era when humans wandered the earth in loin cloths then look no further than the Desert Cave Hotel in Australia. This subterranean hotel in Coober Pedy has 16 poker machines located deep underground to keep guests entertained in the middle of the outback.

If you’re wondering what else there is to do in this human-sized ants’ nest of a hotel, it also boasts an underground shopping arcade – where guests can buy a piece of locally mined opal, or relax in its game room or bar. If you’re drinking then don’t forget to wear a helmet, considering you’ll need to spelunk your way back to the room afterwards.

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òîñó | © Desert Cave Hotel

The casino built on a puddle

What do you do when you want to build a gambling house on dry land but state laws only allow riverboat casinos? Simple. Surround the building with a shallow pit of water and exploit a loophole that lets you open your doors to the gambling public. Rivers Casino – just minutes from downtown Chicago and the O’Hare International Airport – has 1,000 slot machines as well as 50 tables including poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat games. Just don’t forget your wellington boots.

© Rivers Casino, Des Plaines

The virtual reality casino

As if casinos didn’t already occupy some alternate reality where time ceases to exist, night becomes day and anything is possible, you can now take a virtual trip to Las Vegas courtesy of SlotsMillion. The online gambling company launched the world’s first virtual reality casino in 2015, allowing players to explore a fully-equipped interactive casino floor for the first time. They can wander round clusters of slot 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. Your surroundings might not be real, but the money certainly is.

© SlotsMillion

The casino in the sky

Let’s face it, most in-flight entertainment is passable at best, but we still find ourselves staring out the window or absentmindedly thumbing an empty packet of snacks. Wouldn’t it be better if you could have a flutter on the roulette table instead, or add to the glamour of a business class experience with a turn at the table? AirJet Designs and Designescence are hoping to recapture the golden age of travel – when people would meet and share a social experience together – by installing casino tables on airliners and private jets, ready to play at 30,000 feet. Just don’t blow all your spending money before you’ve arrived at your destination!

© AirJet Designs

For something a little more conventional check out our essential guide to Monaco’s Monte Carlo casino, or discover where you can find some of the classiest and gaudiest casinos in Macau. For more information on online casinos visit jackpot.co.uk.