Unusual Casinos in Strange Places That Are Actually Pretty Cool

Casino Chips and Underground Casino and Penguins

Throughout the course of history, casinos have existed in a number of different locations ranging from underground, discreet back rooms, to massive hotels and resorts.

Still some gaming establishments have been erected in even more unusual places that make them stand out from the rest. Whether it was due to a strange gambling law or just a reason to be different, these establishments have visitors in awe of their unique qualities.

In this article, I’ll list 10 of the most interesting casinos that were built in the strangest of places.

The Puddle (Rivers Casino – Des Plaines, Illinois)

To state the obvious, governments have been enacting somewhat, for lack of a better word, stupid, gambling laws since the beginning of time. As they look to find ways to receive the financial kickbacks that a casino can provide, sometimes the legal language makes little to no sense.

One such example of this can be seen in the ‘Casino Built on a Puddle’ in Illinois. Why a puddle, you ask? Well, at the time of its creation, the law in Illinois stated that only riverboat casinos were legal. To get around this law in a creative way, the owner constructed a small pit of water to build the casino on in order to “abide” by the legislation.

Exterior of Rivers Casino in Des Plaines Illinois

In my opinion, the best part of the whole situation is the name of the establishment: Rivers Casino.

Although I have to assume that the government leaders were not thrilled, visitors have to appreciate a good legal loophole when they see one.

Airport Casino (The Holland Casino – Amsterdam Schiphol Airport)

Airports do not have the reputation of being a place that most people would choose to hang out if given the choice. However, one Amsterdam airport is looking to change all that by giving folks a reason to stick around long after their flights have landed.

For those travelers who feel the need to hit the blackjack table before checking into their hotel, the Holland Casino at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport affords them that opportunity.

While the casino might not have the full floor of games, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining place to be during a delayed flight. Come to think of it, it’s almost surprising that more airports haven’t cultivated this business opportunity.

On the Rails (X-Train Casino – LA to Las Vegas)

If you’re on the way to Las Vegas, there’s only one way to get in the mood during your travel. Start gambling en route to Sin City via the X-Train!

The luxury train, which began operating in 2011, allows travelers to get their gambling fix in during the roughly 5-hour trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. In addition to the games, the train cars also include a sports bar and restaurant.

Interior of the X-Train LA to Las Vegas

For anyone looking to recover their lost funds on the way home, we can only hope that things work out in your favor.

And in the Sky! (AirJet Airplanes)

Can’t wait until you get there? Just like the X-Train, the AirJet casino concept is giving gamblers the opportunity to grow their bankroll before checking in for the weekend.

Now, obviously fitting a full casino floor on a little tube in the sky isn’t exactly going to be practical, but there are more than enough games to keep you occupied until touch down. Not to mention, the luxury aircraft has plenty of other amenities that will help you enjoy your flight.

VR (Still in Development)

This one might not exist just yet, but it’s in development right now and is worth taking note of for the future.

Virtual Reality casinos are currently being constructed that will allow players from all over the world to simply pop on a headset and be transported right to the casino floor. The fact that everything is built digitally means that the opportunities are endless for upgrades along the way.

If you’re already a fan of using online casinos, this would simply be the next step up from what you’re used to. It goes beyond just the gaming experience and provides a true feeling of “being there” even when you’re not.

While they aren’t very common today, many industry experts think VR casinos are the future.

Spooky Casino (Bally’s – Las Vegas)

For all the folklore surrounding the industry, some casinos have to be haunted, right?

While there’s no way to technically prove that Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas is haunted, the stories are enough to get your heart rate going. Its reputation for being haunted stems from the fact that it was constructed upon the grounds of a casino that burned down in the 1980s.

Long Hallway at Bally's Las Vegas

The blaze resulted in the deaths of many patrons and some say that their souls never fully left. Although it’s a luxurious casino now, visitors have reported seeing ghosts, spirits, and other unexplainable phenomena during their stay.

If you’re looking to add a little fright to your Vegas visit, this is the place to go.

The Lower Level (The Basement Casino – North Cadbury Court)

Some casinos have a beautiful view of surrounding areas…and then there’s the Basement Casino in North Cadbury Court.

True to its name, this casino is located in the basement of a historic building in the English countryside. By historic, I’m talking a 16th century building. It has all the character and charm you’d expect from something this old.

Players enjoy high stakes, low ceilings, and even a separate poker room that gives you the feel of an underground (both literally and figuratively) gambling experience that you won’t soon forget.

Underground Casino (Desert Cave Hotel – Australia)

When you hear people refer to Australia as “down under,” this casino certainly lives up to the billing. The Desert Cave Hotel was built deep underground in the rocks of the outback’s desert, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more unique casino experience.

Interior of Desert Cave Hotel Australia

It has all the games you’d expect from a regular casino and one of the most notable interiors of any casino you’ll find anywhere.

Gaming Behind Bars (State Prison, Nevada)

Gambling is certainly not unheard of in prisons across the world. I mean, they do have quite a bit of time to kill.

In the mid-20th century, one prison in Nevada decided that it was time to make things a little more official. That’s right – they opened a casino inside a prison that was functional for nearly three decades.

How did that experiment work out? Surprisingly well actually! Prisoners were able to play games from blackjack to craps, and could even place a wager on sports events. It was thought the somewhat-regulated nature of the casino eliminated the need for the violence associated with underground gambling operations.

Ice Cold Casino (Base Esperanza – Antarctica)

Perhaps the most difficult casino on this list to enjoy, the gaming establishment set up at Base Esperanza in Antarctica provides entertainment for those who have made the trek to one of the most remote destinations on planet Earth.

Base Esperanza in Antarctica

Who is responsible for building such a thing? The answer would be the Argentinian research team, whom I imagine found the endless, freezing temperatures a bit of a drag.

If at any point you make the trip to the world’s least-inhabited content, I hope you pay this place a visit and test your luck.


There you have it – the list of some of the most unique gambling establishments in the entire world! Now that you’ve read about casinos located deep in the ground to high in the sky, it’s time to plan your next gambling trip and start checking off the list.

Regardless of where you go, if you choose any of the locations I’ve laid out here, you’re sure to have one of the most memorable gambling experiences of your lifetime.