The Future of Luxury Casino Resorts - Unique Features and Innovation
For a number of years, following the emergence of the online gambling industry, it was considered that land-based casinos were somewhat a thing of the past.
Certainly, visitor numbers declined dramatically, especially in global hotspots such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Monte Carlo, with live online casinos being able to offer customers the convenience of being able to gamble from the comfort of their own surroundings as well as other attractions such as better promotions.
While standalone casinos saw a significant drop in revenue, resorts began to stabilize, especially renowned companies such as MGM Resorts International, which has establishments all over the US and around the world.
At that point, big companies realized that people still wanted a luxurious casino experience, and they were prepared to pay for it - the gambling element was essentially an added bonus.
The Global Landscape of Exclusive Gambling Destinations
Undoubtedly, Las Vegas has evolved into being the most famous gambling hotspot in the world and plays home to all of the most well-known resorts; however, its reputation as a ‘party place’ is one thing that has almost shackled its prestige over the last few decades. Just a couple of hours on an airplane away from Los Angeles, it often attracts a type of demographic that might just be frowned upon in arguably more luxurious gambling venues around the world.
Monte Carlo certainly is one of these; home to the international jet set, and billionaires, it has carved its name into history over the years as being one of the most exotic gambling destinations in the world.
Indeed, even most of the resorts are unique and can say that they easily differentiate themselves from their Las Vegas counterparts.
One of the most recent luxurious casino hotspots to emerge over the last 10 years is Macau. The former Portuguese colony has proven to be a hit with wealthy Chinese gamblers who often make the short trip for a long weekend. Even this has its unique style, usually associated with being more of a ‘serious’ place; even utter the word ‘party’ there and don’t be surprised to feel the room turn cold.
Atlantic City, again, differs from the others, with this usually being recognized as more of a casual gambling hotspot, though it still has the same names (albeit slightly less spectacular) that you can find in Las Vegas. It was often the case that New York residents would make the short trip for a night or long weekend if they were keen on a game of poker or just wanted to peruse the slots.
In recent years, even Singapore has begun to establish itself as a bit of a hotspot for gambling and, of course, has the resorts to match its splendour.
Trends and Transformations in the Casino Resort Sector
What has become evident over the last few years, especially following the aftermath of the global pandemic, is that people still like the best in this industry, and they are willing to pay for it.
The luxury casino resort sector is thriving right now, aided by the fact that this has been recognized by major companies that continue to identify new locations for development.
Resorts such as the Bellagio or the Venetian in Las Vegas, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco are undoubtedly flagships of the industry and are definitely appropriate adverts to advocate the luxury that is on offer to interested customers.
It has even been identified that Macao is in need of a facelift to raise the standards of what it offers, and a major new project is underway to turn it into a gambling resort full of lux designed to attract more of an international customer base.
At the end of 2022, it was announced that six gambling companies would invest $15 billion over the period of 10 years in a bid to turn the place into a luxurious hotspot that could attract a similar clientele to that of Monte Carlo. As such, a considerable proportion of that sum had even been earmarked by these companies for non-gambling-related development to provide prospective visitors with a more rounded experience.
One name that continues to prove almost synonymous with gambling and luxury is ‘Wynn’. Wynn Resorts, owned by businessman Steve Wynn has been associated with the industry essentially since the birth of the industry and has luxury resorts in multiple locations.
Without a doubt, the jewel in its crown is the Wynn Las Vegas, which is perched elegantly on the main strip and can be seen from at least one kilometer away, with the ‘Wynn’ emblem opulently emblazoned in gold across the top corner of the building.
The company recorded revenue figures of $3.7 billion for 2022, while for the third quarter of 2023, it reported a 13.7 percent year-over-year growth, indicating strong confidence in the luxury casino resorts.
The Unique Features of Luxury Casinos
It is often the case that every luxury casino resort has its own unique and distinctive characteristics, which is usually what makes it so popular with fans. The Bellagio, for example, is known primarily among gambling fans for its cascading waterfalls, which make up part of a spectacular light show most evenings. Indeed, this also acts as a clever marketing strategy that really puts it in the spotlight.
A Motley Fool report in 2018 indicated that Bellagio had revenues of $1.36 billion (a shade under Wynn Las Vegas - $1.69 billion). Ultimately, visitors to luxury casinos expect the best, and this certainly comes across in the conduct of the employees while the facilities also reflect excellence.
While there are obvious locations (as covered), there are also other casino resorts around the world that also combine luxury with paradise.
The Caribbean is actually a magnet for luxury casino resorts, with this being an ideal destination for many gambling enthusiasts from the US, who frequently jet in from the likes of New York and Miami for a long weekend.
With many to choose from, these also have one thing that a lot of others in the world don’t have: private beach access and effectively guaranteed hot, sunny weather. The Ritz Carlton on the island of Aruba has everything that any gambling enthusiast could want, with spectacular views on top of all of the usual luxury amenities.
The Emergence of the Emirates as a Luxury Gambling Hub
As touched upon, the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is another monument of casino luxury. At the time of opening in 2010, it was dubbed the most expensive gambling property in the world, at a staggering cost of $8 billion. Arguably, it is the most impressive and imposing landmark in Singapore, with impressive views across the harbor, and is easily identifiable by its intergalactic look, with three towers bridged together at the top of the structure.
Every new luxury casino resort cannot afford to be just ‘normal’, with many having something that helps to set it apart from others, whether this be architecturally or otherwise. The bar continues to be raised in this sector, and with Abu Dhabi now understood to be establishing itself as a gambling hotspot, this will, no doubt, keep rising.
While neighboring Dubai postponed plans to create a gambling hub, its Emirati cousin has moved forward with its ambitions. Despite the pause in Dubai, there was still significant confidence.
Irrespective of what’s happened in the past couple of days which is extremely tragic, we’re very progressive and excited by what could happen there. We think there’ll be three or four [casinos] in the emirates. It’s up to each ruler to decide what they want to do and where they want to do it.
We have a project that is now underway that we began to work on back in 2015 — it is on Plateau Island, it’s at the base of Jumeirah Beach and the base of Burj Al Arab; they look at each other. We’re positive. I’d love to be in Dubai with an operating company that has a casino in it, but one step and one day at a time.
What is positive is that such a respected and well-connected individual in the gambling industry still sees the potential in the Emirates to become a luxury gambling hub, and it already has visitors.
Will Luxury Casino Resorts Continue to Evolve?
While it is perhaps hard to imagine how luxury casino resorts will evolve, the likelihood is that something will spark this into motion, perhaps driven by the evolution of technology.
Already, we are witnessing advancements in VR and casino gamification, and it could well be a similar element is created by new resorts in the future.
Essentially, most visitors to casino resorts are there to spend most of their time gambling and some, especially mostly in Macau, are not particularly enthused by the surroundings they are in.
Despite this, there is no doubt that luxury casinos will continue to progress, and it will certainly be interesting to see how Emirates enters the market, especially considering everything they have done so far has been on a spectacular scale.
It remains to be seen whether there is room in Las Vegas for one more, however, for now, it is hard to compete with as being the undisputed gambling hotspot for luxury casino resorts.