For many of us in India, the word ‘casino’ brings forth the image of a high profile, white-collar businessman who seeks solace in expensive liquor and the thrill of gambling. Movies took it a step further by showing casinos as a place where crime syndicates and corrupt politicians and prostitutes interact while being intoxicated.
In recent times, Hollywood movies showcasing Las Vegas have touched upon various aspects that are in contradiction to Indian beliefs. The first misconception is that casinos are only for the super rich. In movies like the Hangover and the Ocean series, we see people from all walks of life finding weekend refuge in a casino. Moreover, gambling is not the first thing on their list of things to do. The Ocean series does a fine job of displaying the different facilities casinos now offer, like gourmet restaurants, fancy interiors and sports entertainment. It’s no longer a place where businessmen with nefarious intent lay out their plans for world domination!
Casinos: An Entertainment Hub
The casino industry has been legitimized and regulated in many countries, creating an exciting market for tourism and setting the economy on an expansionary path. Casinos have taken the form of sprawling concrete empires that can host thousands of families for a night. Take the Venetian Macao for instance. With its luxury accommodations, entertainment facilities and gourmet dining, gambling ends up at the periphery. This lavish casino resort has something for everyone, from mixed martial arts fights to comic conventions. Even a deeply melancholic person could take a stroll and soak in the surroundings. The Foxtrot Resort Casino is another example of a casino that has diversified its portfolio to accommodate people from all spheres of life. Like its Macanese counterpart, it hosts concerts, musicals and exhibitions. This Connecticut-based casino is home to the Pequot Museum, which is the world’s largest Native American museum. Another casino that deserves a mention is MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which is located in the world’s third highest hotel and is a hub for concerts, musicals, magic shows and boxing fights.
Does anyone remember the movie Richie Rich? The scene where the poor little rich boy takes his friends to his mansion and they find a McDonald’s inside? Casinos have that same effect on kids, with their comic conventions, movie exhibitions and entire buildings dedicated to kids’ entertainment! Any kid would love to have such a casino as his home away from home. It gets even better if a famous entertainer like Rihanna or David Copperfield takes to the stage in the evening.
Casino zones like Las Vegas are a delight to the eyes. All the buildings on the Strip are decorated with lights, just like India on the eve of Diwali. Don’t get confused if you find familiar landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower, in the heart of the city. These are replicas of famous monuments, built with such precision and artistry that they can give the originals a run for their money!
Casinos are a world on their own. No other independent event or enterprise can match the luxury and comfort of casino dwelling. It is a perpetual celebration of all the good things in life.