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Gambling with high (or even moderate) stakes is outlawed in many parts of the world. Some places that allow such gambling draw travellers from far away, and might have resorts for gambling.

Gambling often takes place in a casino, at a gambling table in a restaurant, bar or nightlife venue, at a race-track, or at a bookmaker's shop. Bookmaking can be combined with watching a sport; horse racing and greyhound racing in particular are associated with gambling.


The splendour of the casinos' architecture should remind you the direction of the cashflow; the house always wins in the long run. Set a budget for how much you can lose; when you have spent that amount, go on with your itinerary.

Regulation has encouraged venues to use loopholes to provide gambling-like services. The Japanese arcade game pachinko allows the player to win token prizes (typically packaged tiny pieces of gold), which can be redeemed for money across the street, or food and other consumables.

In many countries minors aren't allowed to gamble and may not be allowed to enter such premises. The age limit may be higher than the age of majority. In some countries your age might be checked when you have won a jackpot, and as a minor you would then not get your money.


A casino in Winnemucca, Nevada, United States

Casinos typically make many efforts to maximize time and money spent by guests. Windows and clocks are usually absent, and exits can be hard to find.

They usually have special food, drink and entertainment offers such as stand-up comedy and music, to keep guests in a good mood, and keep them at the premise. Some venues offer alcoholic beverages on the house. However, drunkenness impairs judgement, and all good gamblers know the importance of staying sober.

A typical offer gives a discount, or free service, for a guest who buys chips, with some waiting time. A disciplined traveller can take advantage of these offers.

Depending on the game, knowledge in maths can maximize your chances, but in the only game where it is possible to win against the bank in the long run (blackjack when counting cards) card-counting is explicitly forbidden by most casinos and grounds for ejection. In card games such as poker, a solid grounding in maths increases your likelihood of winning against other players.

Some casinos have rigged individual slot machines to be "loose", giving an edge to the player, but these machines can be absent today, or at least difficult to find. Don't count on slot machines being fair: they can be rigged to give more near wins and fewer real wins than what the looks of the game would suggest. Legislation on the matter may or may not be in place.

In many places, gambling on credit money isn't allowed; don't trust your credit card to work. In some situations it might be good to withdraw the money you are going to use beforehand: when your wallet is empty, you have spent your budget and should leave.




Casinos are major tourist attractions in Macau.
  • 2 Genting Highlands, Malaysia — the only integrated casino resort in the country
  • 3 Goa, India — the only place in the country where gambling is legal
  • 4 Hong Kong, China — the only legal gambling is on horse racing
  • 5 Macau, China — the world's highest-volume gambling venue
  • 6 Singapore — has horse racing, lotteries and football (soccer) betting, as well as two casinos


The Crown Casino in Melbourne is Australia's largest and most popular, although casinos can also be found in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Cairns, the Gold Coast, Darwin, Hobart, Launceston, Townsville and Alice Springs.

In addition, horse racing and greyhound racing can also be found in all of Australia's major cities.


Central America

  • 8 San José, Costa Rica - gambling is legal in Costa Rica, casinos are in San Jose and in some hotels, some games are unique to the region or have regional variations


Casino Helsinki

South America

Las Vegas Strip at night
Atlantic City casinos at night, with Atlantic Ocean, beach, and Boardwalk in foreground

Due to their special status, many Native American Nations may legally run casinos in states where they are otherwise prohibited. Some states allow riverboat gambling in which a casino can operate only on a boat along the river (especially the Mississippi River). Riverboat casinos were also once common in southern states along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Stay safe

Be wary of cheating

Reputable casinos in well-known destinations (e.g. Las Vegas, Monaco or Macau) take security very seriously, with cameras covering virtually every square inch of the property, so one is unlikely to be a victim of crime in these venues. Outside the casino may be a different story. As gamblers bring much money to town, gambling venues attract scams and other dubious businesses. Think twice before visiting a pawn shop, a loan provider, or another service near a gambling venue. Also inside the venue, fees for using ATMs and similar may be significantly inflated.

If you are lucky enough to win a large jackpot, you can usually ask the casino to hold your winnings in its safe or to pay you with a check so that you are not walking out the door with a large amount of cash. Casinos may also have security personnel available to escort you upon request if you insist on receiving all your winnings in cash.

Some unauthorized games might be scams themselves; stick to casinos, and other well-reputed venues. Even legal gambling is sometimes associated with organized crime. Normal gamblers who pay their stakes upfront won't usually be affected by that, however.

Some countries, such as South Korea, have laws that allow them to prosecute their own citizens for gambling while overseas.

Stay healthy

Problem gambling is a mental disorder which affects one's mental health, finance and social well-being. Most countries should have some charities or non-governmental organizations specialized in helping those who suffer from problem gambling. Government agencies responsible for social welfare are also often involved. If you think you need to win back what you lost; consider contacting such a charity or agency right away. As the saying in poker goes: don't throw good money after bad.

In some jurisdictions, those who wish to quit gambling due to problem gambling may apply for an exclusion order to ban themselves from casinos. Such orders are usually processed by gambling supervisory authorities like the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau in Macau or agencies specialized on helping problem gamblers, such as the National Council on Problem Gambling in Singapore.

In addition, family members who are troubled with other member's problem gambling are usually allowed to apply for exclusion orders on behalf of the person. Regardless, anybody concerned can contact relevant agencies for advice.


Photography and mobile phone use are usually prohibited, or very restricted, inside venues — partly to keep other guests' privacy, partly since they could potentially be used for cheating.

Various cultures have different views on gambling, which can differ significantly from government policies. Islam, Judaism and a number of Protestant Christian denominations oppose gambling.

Most casinos have some kind of dress code, though the standard can vary by location. The required standard may be more strict at night than in the day.

See also

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