The Strange, the Bizarre, the Confusing – The World’s Most Unusual Casinos
When most of us think about visiting a casino establishment, it’s common to think of a professional experience with high-quality interiors and something of an upper-class feel. And as it happens, the vast majority of land-based casino establishments follow that idea. However, there are also a few that have strayed away from the norm and crafted something exceptionally unique and, to some, unusual. So, join us as we take a look at these strange casinos and where they are located.
1. The Basement Casino at North Cadbury Court, Somerset, United Kingdom
Visiting North Cadbury Court will put you in an idyllic scene, as it operates as a Country House venue. In fact, it is often utilized by people for weddings, corporate events, and even luxurious family holidays too. Based in Somerset, the establishment has easy access to both London and the Midlands from it, making it an ideal base. Yet, there is something else that this fascinating house plays host to as well.
The mansion is of the 16th century Elizabethan period and was actually constructed from the remains of a 12th century medieval hall. And if you visit the basement of the house, you’ll find various out-of-character features. Included within are a disco complete with full lighting, sound system and smoke machine, and a fully functioning casino. This incorporates poker tables, options for roulette and blackjack, and its own full-time croupier. There’s quite the dark and almost illegal feel to accessing a casino found in the basement of a Country House, but North Cadbury Court makes it quite welcoming.
2. The Taxi Casino, United Kingdom
Doubtless, the UK has had some strange ideas about many things, but perhaps the Taxi Casino was one of the most bizarre. Thought up by the Grosvenor Casinos brand in 2016, the “World’s Smallest Travelling Casino” took to the roads, featuring a casino in the back of a black taxi. It was actually crafted as a way of promoting the brand’s sports betting options and provided blackjack and other online games utilizing a tablet.
The taxi’s interior was decorated with a red felt blackjack table that three people could partake in. The dealer was positioned next to the driver but with their seat turned around to face the other passengers. Anyone could stop the taxi if they saw it driving around or had the option of requesting a pickup by sending out a Tweet to Grosvenor. Passengers had the option of being driven to their nearest Grosvenor Casino or donating to Carer’s Trust to have it take them wherever they liked. A television was also installed inside the taxi alongside a bar, giving passengers the chance to watch sports while having a drink on their journey.
3. The X Train Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Back in 2012, a company started operating under the name of X Train. This company had the idea of launching a casino onboard a train for passengers to enjoy whilst going through a journey that took them from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Also known as the Las Vegas Railway Express, entrepreneur Michael Barron was responsible for coming up with the idea.
However, various obstacles ended up getting in the way of the X-Train ever really materializing. Despite receiving final approval for it from the state of Nevada in 2012, only $2.3 million out of a necessary $35 million in start-up costs could be generated. The company was eventually sold in 2017, then changed its name multiple times in 2018, and by 2019 was in talks with Amtrak to get the train to operate.
Along with provisions for the original Los Angeles to Las Vegas route, the reimagined X-Train was to include routes between Oakland and Sacramento/Reno, Washington DC to Greenbrier Hotel, and Houston to New Orleans, amongst others. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see it officially launch in 2021.
4. The Puddle Casino, Illinois, USA
This plan goes back to 1990, when Illinois passed its very first casino legislation. Back then, casinos were required to be hosted on riverboats, which should also be on a navigable body of water. Years later, an amendment allowed permanent structures to host casinos as well, although they still needed to be constructed over water. It was this that led to the Rivers Casino becoming one of the most intriguing establishments in Illinois.
So that it was complying with the state’s laws, the casino owners took to digging a shallow pit and filled it up with just a few inches of water. Legally, it satisfied the legislation for a casino to be built over water, leading to the Rivers Casino being built across a 147,000 square foot space. It remains open for 22 hours per day, only closing between 7 am and 9 am, and it hosts a multitude of games to involve yourself in.
5. The Esperanza Base Casino, Hope Bay, Antarctica
It’s probably not common to think of a casino being available to visit in the barren lands of Antarctica, but here we are. Built in 1953 by a team of Argentinian scientists, the Esperanza Base plays host to 55 inhabitants in winter, which includes 10 families and two schoolteachers. It also has an Argentine civil register office where births and weddings are recorded and tourist facilities which are visited by around 1,100 people each year.
That’s not all, though, because the 43 buildings of the base cover 3,744 square meters, and one of them incorporates a small casino! Each of the houses is painted bright red so that they can be seen during blizzards, while the school there is also colorfully designed. The casino, which also serves as a communal hall, is decorated with Argentinian maps and flags, as well as patriotic posters. The entire community even shares pizza at the casino every Saturday, bringing about a feeling of neighborly love throughout. So, if you ever find yourself wandering around a wintry Antarctic land and spot some red buildings, there’s bound to be a casino within а walking distance!