This post has been written and contributed by Kelly Hall, and is published in accordance with content disclosure policy.
The world is without doubt becoming a more gay-friendly place. Just think about how much progression there’s been over the past 20 years. While the likes of Brighton, Manchester’s Canal Street and Soho in London used to be the main gay hotspots, now there are Pride marches in every major city every year – proving there are many more areas to shout it loud and proud.
But while it’s great to be part of a community with so many places to go, it can also be good to enjoy a quick escape from the gay scene from time to time. If you’re looking for a break from the ordinary, why not check out a casino? Casinos are great places to meet people and get the thrill of gambling for money. The excitement of the game is everything – be it playing the slots or trying your hand at blackjack.
But where do we go? Everyone likes a flutter, so you’ll find casinos all over the world. We've gathered together a few that are public about their inclusive values and gay-friendly nature. Although these casinos aren’t exclusively for the LGBTQ community, below are four casinos that should be your first port of call.
1. Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
The total buying power of the LGBTQ community in the US is an estimated $790 billion, and one place that’s long understood this is Las Vegas, where there are gay-friendly casinos aplenty.
You’ll find one of the best at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Built in 1998, the resort is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International.
Situated on the Las Vegas Strip, it has 3,309 rooms, 24 elevators and the casino is 135,000 square feet.
Next door is the 2,000,000 square foot Mandalay Convention Centre. If you love UFC fighting you’ll know that this resort puts on many fights and other events – but with the huge casino space there are plenty of ways to amuse yourself. Poker, blackjack and roulette tables adorn every inch of the carpet, and there are hundreds of slot machines from wall to wall.
2. Caesars, Atlantic City
Like Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Caesars in Atlantic City is a luxury hotel and casino resort. But what sets it apart is its intriguing ancient Roman and Greek theme.
Officially opened in 1979, this 145,000 square foot casino now boasts 3,400 slot machines since a renovation in 2008.
One of its four gaming areas is Palace East, which is Asian-themed and has hundreds of slots, a poker room with over 320 tables, and 120 more tables featuring games like roulette and blackjack.
The 2008 renovation also included the building of the 25-floor Centurion Tower with an additional 610 rooms on top of the 548 it already had – making it one of the largest venues in Atlantic City. However, for such a large place, the atmosphere remains cosy and inviting.
3. The Empire Casino, London
This Vegas-style casino lies a little closer to home, in London’s Leicester Square. Opening in the spring of 2007, it quickly became the largest casino in the capital after converting the previous ballroom and theatre space.
There are no hotel rooms available on the premises, but it being situated in central London, there are plenty around the area.
With 127 slot machines and 50 table games, there is also a poker room where there are tournaments on a daily basis. In fact, it’s even been the venue of the finals of the European World Series Poker – such is its credibility on the global gambling stage. If you’re going to chance your arm anywhere in the UK, make sure it’s here.
4. MGM Grand, Las Vegas
It is difficult to ignore the Grand. It might only be the twelfth largest casino in the world, but it is the biggest in Vegas.
With 171,000 square foot of gaming space and a reputation for hosting the biggest boxing events as well as nightly shows by illusionist David Copperfield, it is quite a place. Oh yes, and it’s also very capable of hosting, too, as it’s the biggest hotel in the US.
When it opened in 1993 is was the largest hotel complex in the world, with five outdoor pools, river and waterfalls, a convention centre, the MGM Grand Garden Arena. There are also more shops, night-clubs and restaurants than you could possibly visit in a single trip – and take it from us, your time here will run out before the fun does.
5. Online casinos
If you like casinos but don’t want to actually go out, there is another option for you. In our post-digital world, online casinos are becoming more popular.
It’s quite clear why – they allow gamblers to use their desktop and mobile devices to play their favourite games from the comfort of their own home, or on the move.
This serves as a decent alternative in itself, but you can also see it as a chance to sharpen your gaming skills before hitting the tables at any of the casinos we’ve just described.
Online operators also now replicate the real-life casino experience more realistically than ever with impressive live offerings, in which you can see and communicate with real dealers and other players in real time, via live streaming.
Check it out now at an online casino like Wink Slots and you’ll see what we mean. Aside from the sheer convenience of playing, you can also benefit from a host of bonuses, promotions and rewards that you can redeem for retail vouchers.