It may be a cliché, but the world is a smaller place than it’s ever been. Destinations are easier to reach. Travel, relatively speaking, is cheaper than it’s ever been and many people have more leisure time at their disposal than in previous generations.

This also means that the idea of a typical vacation is gradually changing. Whereas it used to just be a question of finding a sandy beach in the sun or following the traditional tourist route around places of interest now travelers want more.

They want experiences that they can remember forever. What’s more, many people also want ones that they can share with their followers on the various social media platforms. Fortunately, there are more than enough opportunities to do this virtually anywhere in the world.

One aspect of a vacation that many people are searching for is the kind of glamor that they don’t generally experience in their everyday life, hence the increasing popularity of taking cruises where the surroundings on board are sumptuous and everyone is treated as a very special guest.

A similar approach has been adopted by casinos worldwide. These are not only responding to customer desire, they are also having to increasingly compete with the online casino experience. The latter are now so advanced and sophisticated that many people realize that they can enjoy an authentic experience without leaving their homes.

However, what they can’t enjoy is the all-round immersive experience of a casino resort.

The evolution of the casino resort

While this might seem like a relatively new phenomenon, the casino resort is one that has existed for centuries and long before the advent of the online casino. In Germany the casino at Baden Baden was in operation in the 1830s, attracting everyone from European aristocracy to writer Fyodor Dostoevsky who wrote his novel The Gambler based on his experiences there.

An even more famous example is the Casino de Monte Carlo. First built in 1865 its express purpose was to attract tourists to the Principality of Monaco and to fend off bankruptcy for the then ruler Charles III.

More recently, resorts like Sun City in South Africa opened in 1979. With the country still in the throes of the apartheid era at the time, this was a not so subtle attempt to attract international visitors.

The big two – Las Vegas and Macau

However, all other destination casinos today sit in the shadow of two legendary locations – Vegas and Macau.

For the former, it rose from being a small population center in the Nevada Desert to the multi-billion dollar entertainment hub it is today. Its growth began in the 1930s when it was a stop-off point for the thousands of workers constructing the nearby Hoover Dam.

Gradually it grew until, in 1941, a milestone was reached with the opening of the El Rancho Vegas Resort. For the first time this combined a hotel and casino and many others soon followed. By the 1950s they were also putting on big-name acts like Frank Sinatra.

Leap forward to today and there are countless casino resorts in the city from Caesars Palace to the Bellagio where visitors can stay, gamble and see some of the biggest names on the planet perform in months-long residencies, something not even the best online casino can offer.

For Macau it’s a very different story. As a special administrative region of China, it only returned to the country’s control in 1999. The decision was taken by the government to make it the only region of the country where gambling was permitted.

In the intervening years between then and now it has seen an explosion in casino resorts. The biggest of these are offshoots of Las Vegas names like The Venetian and the MGM. They have followed the same model of luxurious hotel accommodation, huge casinos and big-name entertainment.

As a result Macau now generates a far bigger tourist revenue than Vegas and welcomes around 30 million visitors a year keen to sample its delights in an exotic Far Eastern environment.

The related benefits

Casino tourism brings with it a whole host of benefits for both local and national economies. For a start, it creates many jobs both directly and indirectly for the people who need to not just work in the casinos themselves, but in all the ancillary services too.

Gambling revenue is also taxed so this makes a valuable contribution which can then be spent on improving the infrastructure – benefiting visitors and inhabitants alike.

So, overall, there are many winners thanks to the phenomenon of the destination casino – with visitors hoping that their winning streak will continue in the casinos themselves.