The world of gambling often yields some of the oddest stories you’ll find out there, but how can you have your own surreal gambling experience? While stories are hard to replicate, you can get started with some of the weirdest and most wonderful casinos out there.
Casinos conjure up image of the glamour of James Bond movies or the surreal drug fueled trip of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but you too can experience your very own bizarre gambling experience at a real casino or even online.
Here is a list of the top seven most outrageous casinos you’ll find in the real world and the virtual one.
Genting Highlands Casino, Malaysia
Dubbed as the “Funcity Above the Cloud”, Genting Highlands sits at an altitude of 5,710ft and is only accessible by cable car. It is also the only legal land-based casino licensed under Malaysian gambling laws.
Curious gambling facts:
• In the 1950s, a sailor visiting Las Vegas won 27 games of craps in a row, which has the odds of 1 in 12,500,000.
• Richard Nixon was a sailor in WWII and used to win a fair bit of money from poker – which went towards his 1946 presidential campaign.
• In 1998, a woman won $28 million on a slot machine, making it the largest payout ever.
• Bingo has its origins in 16th century Italy.
Genting Highlands has a theme-park aesthetic going for it, with its brightly colored hotel buildings that overlook the jungle and the ravine.
Rumor has it that many unlucky gamblers have thrown themselves off into the ravine after losing all their money, but we hope that’s just an urban legend.
Desert Cave Hotel Casino, Australia
Found in the middle of the Australian desert in Coober Pedy, the Desert Cave Hotel Casino is located in the cool and air underground space.
The area is known for opal mining, and in order to escape the unbearable heat the region’s locals traditionally lived in underground dugouts. In 1988, Umberto Coro, with his love for all things subterranean, decided to follow suit by constructing this unique hotel and casino.
Sun City Resort, South Africa
While the casino itself is not particularly odd, this South African Casino and Hotel complex sits on the edge of the African Bush in the North West Province of the country.
For those looking for a unique experience where they can both gamble and embark on safari adventures to see lions and elephants, then this is the casino for you.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Marina Bay Sands might look like something out of a sci-fi film with its lavish technical design and 55-story pillar buildings that function as a “sky park”, it’s certainly a casino that will take your breath away.
When you’re not playing in the casino, you can go up to its rooftop pool and enjoy stunning views of the bay.
The surreal array of installations gives the place the feel of being in a living art gallery. However, the casino itself is certainly impressive, boasting 2300 slots and 500 gaming tables.
The Venetian, Macau
While casino of the same name in Las Vegas has earned a cult status, the Macau edition of the Las Vegas Sands casino makes it into the record books.
This casino complex is a 40-story hotel that measures 10,500,000 square feet, making it the sixth largest building in the world and the world’s largest casino.
Following the design of its sister casino, the Venetian Macau comes complete with Venetian canals and a gaming space measuring 374,000 square feet.
The online casino with the strangest games, Jackpot City
While the above casinos might be deemed outrageous or unique for their location or architecture, looking for an online counterpart is a little trickier. Fortunately, there are some online and mobile casinos that offer some more off-the-wall games.
We might know all the casino favorites like blackjack, poker and roulette, but some casinos have offered more whacky games that have actually made it onto the world of online gaming.
JackpotCity offers games like Belgian Birdsong, where players put wagers on bird songs. Traditionally, the birds are placed in cages and players place bets on which bird will sing the longest and the loudest.
Another obscure game you can play online is War, a more adult version of Top Trumps, where you’re dealt a card and the dealer is also dealt one, where the one with the highest card wins.
But it’s not that easy, since the aim of the game is to win the whole deck one card at a time, which could get tedious. It is, however, a rather basic game to play.
And, finally, Gerbil Roulette, where instead of a bouncing ball, a gerbil decides your outcome.
In Gerbil Roulette, a gerbil, or another rodent, is placed at the center of the wheel, where the wheel is spun and the gerbil is released. The rodent then scurries into the number box, which then becomes the winning number.
Strange Sports Betting on Blue Square
While most of the online sportsbooks in the UK and abroad tend to allow bets to be placed on football matches or horse racing, Blue Square offers you the chance for a different kind of wager.
Hamster racing has taken off in the odd wagering category in the UK, where hamsters are placed in wheels or hamster balls that are often fitted to miniature racing vehicles and are raced down a 30-foot course.
As with most races, the first hamster across the finish line is the winner.
UK bookmaker Blue Square, now owned by Betfair, was the first sportsbook to organize professional hamster racing, where the rodents raced in hamster dragsters.
While hamster racing is mostly confined to the UK, it has slowly made its way over to the US and Asia.
So whether you’re interested in casino games you can find in the whacky designs in Asia or obscure games online, there is something out there to shake up your gambling routine.