If you are looking for a great twist on your upcoming getaway, why not take a gamble on a new trend? With more than 25 states that now allow some form of gambling, it is easy to incorporate it into any style of vacation. If you are looking for an international destination, there are plenty of options for you to create a vacation just the way that you envision.

Centers of Gambling, and More

As an East Coast destination, Atlantic City is the place to start for a gambling getaway; but there’s a lot more to see than just the casinos. Established in the mid-1600’s, Atlantic City is rich in history that precedes its first casino in 1978. Boasting a variety of famous hotel casinos, there is a place that fits most budgets. Here, you will get the best of beach and betting that is sure to have something for everyone.

There is a reason why Las Vegas is affectionately referred to as America’s Playground. With $33.7 billion of its annual revenue coming from tourism, it is safe to say that Las Vegas is a top destination for vacations. Wave hello to Vegas Vic and Vicky, the statuesque grand marshals of Las Vegas, as you make your way to Las Vegas Boulevard. (For the most impressive view, wait until after dark and take in the neon glow that Las Vegas is known for.) Gambling is definitely at the top of the menu for tourists and locals alike, but there are many other ways to fill your time. Hotels are not only home to casinos and world winning restaurants, but Las Vegas is equally known for its performances and celebrities. Take in a concert featuring one of your favorite musical acts or purchase tickets for any one of the theatrical performances that run daily all over Las Vegas. If you are more in the mood for an outdoor adventure, why not golf 18 holes on an Arnold-Palmer-designed golf course?

The Vegas experience is embodied at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino luxury accommodations, dining, shopping, entertainment, convention, and gaming venues all under one roof. The property itself is an architectural wonder: guests experience the romance of Venice by floating down the “Grand Canal,” a quarter-mile-long open-air waterway, in an authentic re-creation of an Italian gondola, stopping at over 80 exclusive shops and restaurants along the way.

The AAA Four-Diamond-rated Venetian has over 4,000 suites, some over 650 square feet or about twice as large as a standard Las Vegas hotel room. Some include private canopy-draped bedchambers, bathrooms finished in Italian marble, and sunken living rooms. For art art and culture, the Venetian is home to the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, and the world-famous Madame Tussaud’s in London opened its first stateside attraction at the Venetian in May 1999. The 69,000-square-foot Canyon Ranch SpaClub features nearly 120 spa services, a complete fitness facility with classes, a wellness center, full-service salon, and a café. In all, the Venetian boasts 19 world-class restaurants such as Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico Steakhouse, Canaletto and Taqueria Canonita, plus the Tao Nightclub. For entertainment, the Venetian just premiered The Blue Man Group and Phantom Of The Opera — The Las Vegas Spectacular. The property also provides a Golf Concierge.

Still: most people come for the gambling. The Strip — the west end of Las Vegas Boulevard—measures only four and a half miles, but hosts over 30 hotel casinos, award-winning shops and endless bars and restaurants. The Venetian offers a new 11,000-square-foot poker room complementing its 120,000-square-foot casino. For a real sight, take in a fantastic fountain and light show set to classical music, or a live “volcano” along the boulevard. Since most of the hotels themselves are as vast as small towns, you will want to plan your time wisely to get in as much as possible. While the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Research Department has listed the average price of a hotel at $90 a night, it varies depending on the day of the week and the season.

For a less fast-paced gambling vacation — and one that you may not have even thought of — try the heartland. Iowa, for example, currently has 14 commercial riverboat casinos and racetracks, and with legislation passed in 2005 it will soon be adding three more. The newest of these casinos had over 121,000 visitors in its first month of operation. In all, the Iowa Gaming Association reports, gambling had an overall economic impact of nearly $900 million in 2005 alone. Wherever you are from, a bit of Midwestern hospitality will make your vacation a success.

International Gambling Destinations

Although it is not known for its gambling, Canada is a great destination for those looking to get out of the U.S. for their holiday. In fact, the newly formed Canadian Gaming Association in Toronto, Ontario says that some 75 percent of all adult Canadians participate in some form of gambling, and the industry contributes well over $12 billion in annual revenues. Vancouver, for example, is a fantastic glimpse into what the great North has to offer. There is plenty to keep you occupied off of the playing floor, such as the River Rock Theater which boasts a 950-seat lounge. A note, though: the city of Vancouver is home to five casinos offering table games, but you will have to take the skytrain outside of the city to play slot machines. There are several casinos in the immediate area that allow Class III gambling.

The property itself is an architectural wonder: guests experience the romance of Venice by floating down the “Grand Canal."                                                                                    

For the most adventurous traveler, the island of Macau might just be the answer you have been looking for! The island, off the Southern coast of China, measures about 13 square miles and is rich in activity and scenery for the enjoyment of tourists and locals alike. In 2004 Macau surpassed Las Vegas in gambling revenues, grossing over $5 billion per casino. This is due in part to the 18.7 million visitors that Macau received in 2005 from places such as Hong Kong, Europe and the United States. There are 18 casinos on Macau and in 2004 a major Las Vegas chain opened a hotel casino on the island. In Macau, the “entertainment complex” is more than just a concept. You’ll find full-service casinos with slots, baccarat, Poker and all the other table games you could imagine, and foods inspired by countries such as China, Thailand, Japan and Italy. Gambling really is the main attraction on this island, which makes it the best place for the serious gambler.

Whatever type of vacation you are planning, a shake of the dice is never very far away. From exotic international locations to Midwestern charm, there is a getaway out there for everyone. There’s nothing like a little unexpected, extra funds to rejuvenate you. With luck guiding your adventure, who knows…you might leave tired and drained, and come home flush with cash!

The Venetian

Las Vegas, Nevada

0

Lodging in or near Winchester