Casinos have a reputation for being lavish. It’s part of the experience for the gamblers who flock from around the world to the major resorts in the likes of Vegas, Atlantic City and Macau, with casino resorts renowned for being amongst the most luxurious developments in the world. At the top end, the money involved can easily run into the billions – massive casino floors, plus fancy hotels, restaurants, shopping facilities. Some of them are like self-contained villages in their own right, with everything you could need for a high-end stay.
So when it comes to the best of the best, which are the most expensive casino buildings and resorts in the world, and how much did it cost to put together? Here are the top 5.
Venetian Macau – $2.4 billion
The Venetian Macau is the world’s biggest casino, and the largest hotel of a single structure in Asia. It’s also number seven in the world in terms of building floorspace, giving an idea of just how sizeable this development is.
There’s over 546,000 sq ft of gaming floorspace, in which you’ll find 6,000 slot machines and over 800 different gaming tables. And that’s before you consider the 3,000 hotel rooms and suites, the 1.2 million sq ft of conference space, an arena, retail space and some of the world’s best restaurants.
Standing at 39-stories high, it’s one of the most impressive buildings in Macau. Compared to some of the others on the list, this actually starts to look like a good value for money development – it breaks records in all the right places, yet still comes in at just $2.4 billion – not bad going, considering the result.
Wynn Las Vegas – $2.7 billion
Opened in 2005, the Wynn Las Vegas still stands as one of the biggest casino resorts in the world, and the seventh biggest hotel in the world, with over 4750 rooms. There is still development ongoing at the Wynn, with an expanded retail complex expected to complete over the next couple of months. There is no accolade the Wynn hasn’t secured, with its restaurants and hotels being regarded as some of the finest anywhere in the world.
There’s just under 190,000 sq ft. of gaming space at the resort, surrounded by everything else you’d expect from a leading casino resort – hotels, restaurants, entertainment, exhibitions. Funded by an IPO in 2002, the Wynn was the tallest building on the strip for two years after construction, and remains an imposing force on the Las Vegas skyline.
Described by Steve Wynn as one of his “most fun” projects, the Wynn continues to attract visitors in the millions each and every year.
Resorts World Sentosa – $4.53 billion
Resorts World Sentosa was build on the Singaporean island of Sentosa, and is home to a Universal Studios theme park. It’s also the site of the world’s largest aquarium, a claim to fame that on its own would be responsible for attracting visitors. The resort is made up of 7 separate hotels, including themed hotels like a Hard Rock Hotel and Spy Villas.
The gaming floor is set across 160,000 sq ft., and helped contribute to this being the third most expensive building ever constructed. The site occupies over 49 hectares of land on Sentosa, making it one of the largest developments of its kind.
Developed by the team at Genting Singapore, it joined several other resorts developed in Singapore around the same time, contributing to a now thriving casino and gambling scene in Singapore.
Marina Bay Sands – $5.36 billion
Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is a Las Vegas Sands resort, costing a tad over $5.36 billion to complete. It’s iconic, thanks to the trademark SkyTower, which stands tall above Singapore with its famous infinity pool.
The resort benefits from 160,000 sq ft of gaming space, alongside over 2560 hotel rooms, 800,000 sq ft of retail space, countless bars and restaurants, art exhibitions and so much more. The total resort covers 20 hectares – over 2 million sq ft., making it one of the most significant resorts of its kind in Singapore.
Marina Bay Sands was built to be a landmark on the Singapore skyline, and since its completion in 2010, it has gone on to be recognised as one of the defining structures in the city-state. It’s opulence and luxury cements its place as one of the world’s most stunning casino resorts, which has already made an impact on visitor numbers to Singapore.
CityCenter Las Vegas – $9 billion
The CityCenter Las Vegas is an MGM Resorts development, which was completed back in 2009. Covering a staggering 18 million square feet of real estate, it is considered the most expensive private construction in US history. This is not just a casino – it’s pretty much an entire town, built within a resort that boasts over 2,400 homes, 42 different restaurants, 4 hotels and of course, a staggering casino floor.
Located on the Las Vegas strip, the resort has yet to pay dividends for MGM, which continues to struggle to make the project profitable. As a result, the group posted losses of over $1.44 billion in 2010, showing that the build-it-and-they-will-come philosophy isn’t necessarily everything you need to make a successful resort.
It’s certainly impressive, and time will tell whether this was a good move for MGM Resorts. If anyone can make it a commercial success it will be them, but either way, it’s worth a visit to take in its sheer size and scale.