The world of casinos is constantly evolving, with each year bringing more glamor, luxury, and innovation than the last. As we journey into 2023, the boundaries of opulence and entertainment are being pushed like never before. This article unveils the eight most grandiose and expensive casino hotels you must visit this year. From the iconic elegance of Caesars Palace in Paradise, Nevada to the breathtaking spectacle of the Venetian Macau, these establishments offer an unparalleled blend of gaming excitement and lavish accommodation. Whether it’s the awe-inspiring shows in Las Vegas or the enchanting allure of top casino hotels from Macau to Monaco, prepare for an unforgettable journey into a world where luxury meets luck.
1. WinStar World Casino, Oklahoma, USA
Located in Thackerville, Oklahoma, near the Oklahoma-Texas state line, WinStar World Casino and Resort is a prominent tribal casino and hotel that falls under the Chickasaw Nation’s ownership. Established as WinStar Casinos in 2004, it transformed into WinStar World Casino in 2009 following the addition of a 395-room hotel tower. With an expansive area exceeding 370,000 square feet, it proudly holds the title of the world’s largest casino.
In 2013, the casino experienced a significant expansion, which included a two-phased 1000-room hotel tower and an ancillary casino. This growth elevated WinStar to the status of the largest casino in the U.S., in terms of gaming floor space. The casino delivers a holistic gambling experience featuring more than 8,600 electronic games, 55 poker tables, and an array of other table games such as craps and roulette. It also provides Racer’s off-track betting and several exclusive high-limit rooms.
Strategically situated between Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth, WinStar World Casino attracts visitors from both North Texas and Oklahoma. Its Global Event Center, capable of accommodating up to 3,500 guests, serves as a regional hub for entertainment. It has hosted a diverse range of renowned entertainers, from comedians like Jay Leno to music stars such as Vince Gill and Maroon 5. The venue even had the honor of hosting Davy Jones’ final performance on February 19, 2012. Given its impressive roster of performers, it’s evident that WinStar is a premier destination for entertainment in the region.
2. The Venetian Macau, China
Located in Macau, China, The Venetian Macao is a grand hotel and casino resort that covers over 10,500,000 square feet. It stands as a part of the Las Vegas Sands corporation and mirrors its sibling resort, The Venetian Las Vegas. Notably, it ranks as the world’s second-largest casino and Asia’s largest single-structure hotel, making it one of the top ten largest buildings worldwide based on floor area.
The resort, completed in July 2007 and opened to the public on August 28, 2007, features a 39-story main tower. Its impressive offerings include 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet of convention space, 1.6 million square feet of retail area, and a sprawling casino with 3,400 slot machines and 800 gambling tables. This architectural marvel also incorporates the Cotai Arena, a venue capable of seating 15,000 attendees and hosting a vast array of entertainment and sports events.
The casino at the resort, which spans 546,000 square feet, is segmented into four distinct gaming areas themed as Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon, and Phoenix. Each offers a distinct gaming experience to international visitors. For high-end guests, the resort provides the Paiza Club, featuring private gaming rooms named after renowned Asian cities and regions. The Paiza Club also grants private access to the Paiza Club Dining & Lounge, open 24/7.
Adding to its entertainment offerings, the resort’s Cotai Arena can accommodate between 2,000 and 13,500 spectators, making it an ideal venue for large indoor events, concerts, and international award ceremonies.
Between August 27, 2008, and February 19, 2012, the resort was home to Cirque du Soleil’s production, Zaia. The show, performed by 75 circus artists in a custom theater at the Venetian Macao, revolved around a young girl’s dream vision. Under the direction of Neilson Vignola and Gilles Maheu, Zaia offered a unique entertainment experience to guests.
3. City of Dreams, Macau, China
Situated in the vibrant heart of Cotai, Macau, City of Dreams is a prestigious casino resort that has earned its place as a premier spot in the gaming and hospitality sectors. Owned and managed by Melco Resorts & Entertainment, this expansive establishment boasts three unique casinos, four hotels, more than 2,200 beautifully designed guest rooms, a plethora of dining and entertainment facilities, and an expansive shopping area covering over 175,000 square feet. Since its inception in 2009, City of Dreams has gained global recognition as one of the world’s most remarkable mega-casinos.
Boasting a splendid casino that spans 420,000 square feet, 500 gaming tables, a shopping complex, and a myriad of dining choices, this resort is a must-visit for anyone seeking a mix of excitement and luxury. The early stages of the resort saw the inauguration of the Hard Rock Hotel and Crown Towers, with the grand reveal of the Grand Hyatt Hotel Towers following in 2009, enriching the resort with an additional 791 lavish rooms.
The resort is home to the mesmerizing House of Dancing Water show, where spectators are immersed in a world of atmospheric effects, water displays, and fire elements. The show, directed by the iconic Franco Dragone, has received several awards, including Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement for Live Show Spectacular in 2012. Furthermore, the resort is home to PokerStars, Macau’s biggest branded poker room, which plays a substantial role in boosting Melco Resorts’ earnings, with a reported 80% coming solely from the City of Dreams. Given its vast selection of gaming and entertainment activities, City of Dreams stands out as an essential destination for those seeking a unique and unmatched experience in Macau.
City of Dreams, a luxury resort located in Macau’s heart, offers an impressive range of features and attractions. One of these is The Boulevard, an extensive retail space that spans 175,000 square feet across two levels, developed in partnership with DFS. This ambitious project expanded the original 70 shops and introduced new stores along Estrada do Istmo, Cotai’s main thoroughfare. In 2018, the resort added a new feature, Morpheus, a breathtaking tower designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, offering cuisine by the famous chef Alain Ducasse.
Lauded as a “mega-casino” by the Guardian, this awe-inspiring destination has solidified its status as a must-visit for those seeking top-tier gaming, gourmet dining, and lavish accommodations. It houses three distinct casinos and nearly 500 gaming machines, catering to even the most sophisticated gamers. Over 30 restaurants and bars provide a variety of international cuisines, while the 175,000 square feet of retail space offers plenty of high-end shopping opportunities. As one of the world’s largest casinos, City of Dreams is a shining beacon in Macau’s tourism sector.
4. Horseshoe Las Vegas, Las Vegas, USA
Horseshoe Las Vegas, nestled in Paradise, Nevada, and operated by Caesars Entertainment, is a famed hotel and casino located on the illustrious Las Vegas Strip. It originally opened its doors as the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on December 4, 1973. The facility included a 26-story hotel with 2,100 rooms, making it one of the world’s largest hotels at that time. Unfortunately, on November 21, 1980, the MGM Grand was hit by one of the most catastrophic high-rise fires in U.S. history, resulting in 85 fatalities. After an extensive $50 million reconstruction, the property reopened on July 29, 1981, with improved fire safety measures. Later that year, an additional 26-story tower was built, increasing the room capacity by over 700. Currently, the resort has a total of 2,812 rooms and a sprawling casino covering 68,375 square feet (6,352.2 m2).
Situated in the vibrant epicenter of the Las Vegas Strip, the resort, initially known as Bally’s Las Vegas, has undergone several transformations since its establishment in the 1970s. In 2022, as part of Caesars Entertainment’s refurbishment project, it was rebranded as Horseshoe Las Vegas. This name reflects a nod to the historical Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, a legendary venue in downtown Las Vegas. Recently, the resort saw a decrease in its room count due to the transfer of its Jubilee Tower to the neighboring Paris Las Vegas property.
The MGM Grand, a creation of architect Martin Stern Jr., was applauded for its opulent design, drawing inspiration from the grand European hotels of the early 20th century. Adorned with countless chandeliers, marble statues, and columns, it held a position among the world’s largest hotels during its time and boasted the world’s largest casino with 923 slot machines and a keno lounge. Offering an array of amenities including shops, restaurants, bars, entertainment lounges, and convention space, the resort was an unrivaled destination for relaxation and business. Recently, Caesars announced a multi-million dollar renovation plan poised to transform the property into Horseshoe Las Vegas, introducing exterior modifications, new dining venues, and a revamped casino floor.
At the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, Horseshoe Las Vegas underwent a rebranding process that culminated on December 15, 2022. The exterior renovations are almost complete, with a ceremony to commemorate the end of the rebranding held on March 24, 2023. As part of this update, the casino floor now sports a new, expansive layout, including an updated poker room with 18 tables. The sportsbook has been relocated to the main casino floor, while its former location has been converted into a video game arcade hosting over 80 games. The establishment now features Jack Binion’s Steak, a new restaurant replacing the former BLT Steak, which closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and remained shuttered. In 2023, renowned culinary maestro Chef Martin Yan is set to open a fresh Asian dining spot, M.Y. Asia. The refurbished establishment now features a display case with $10,000 bills, a characteristic element from the original Binion’s Horseshoe, which has been revived in the new Horseshoe.
5. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, USA
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, a globally recognized institution, is situated in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Initially launched as the Trump Taj Mahal, this establishment opened its doors in 1990 with an eye-popping price tag of approximately US$1 billion. Owned by Hard Rock International, it offers premium amenities and is acclaimed for its outstanding service. The initial food and beverage options at this venue featured notable dining establishments like the Hard Rock Cafe, Sultan’s Feast, Dynasty, Il Mulino New York, Moon at Dynasty, and Robert’s Steakhouse. Additionally, the Taj Mahal was the first U.S. casino to house Scores, a strip club.
In 2016, the Taj Mahal casino confronted financial difficulties leading to its closure. However, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, in collaboration with the Morris and Jingoli families, purchased and rebranded the property as the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Despite the challenges that plagued the establishment, the new proprietors committed to reviving the venue, transforming it into an unforgettable destination for visitors. Following extensive renovations, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City reopened on June 27, 2018, promising guests an opulent experience with high-end accommodations and a variety of casino games.
The casino, initiated by Donald Trump in 1990, was financed through the sale of high-yield junk bonds bearing a 14 percent interest rate, resulting in an initial investment of $675 million. With a sprawling 120,000 square feet of gaming area, the casino claimed the title of the world’s largest casino when it first opened. Despite a tumultuous beginning, which involved the casino becoming a hotspot for Russian mobsters, the Taj Mahal emerged as the most profitable casino in the region until the introduction of The Borgata in 2003. In 2008, the addition of the Chairman Tower introduced over 2,000 rooms to the complex.
Located in a prime location in Atlantic City, USA, the property, previously known as the Trump Taj Mahal, was acquired by Hard Rock International in 2017 and relaunched in 2018. Since then, the Hard Rock has established itself as a hub for sports enthusiasts, inaugurating both online and retail sportsbooks in 2019. The Hard Rock’s debut as the 10th sportsbook app in New Jersey reinforced its standing in the gaming and entertainment sector. Apart from sports betting, the Hard Rock has a storied history of offering unique experiences, including hosting the country’s first casino strip club in 2013. Altogether, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City delivers an engaging and thrilling experience for guests seeking a comprehensive gaming and entertainment journey.