Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino

Originally opened on January 15, 1990, the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino is situated on West Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, just off Interstate 15 and five minutes’ drive from the Las Vegas Strip. As the name suggests, all of the 2,520 guest rooms at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino are spacious suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering unparalleled views of the Las Vegas Valley. Again, as the name suggests, the property has a Brazilian theme, reminiscent of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, but, while bright and colourful, it is not overwhelming.

The massive, Mardi Gras themed casino floor, which covers in excess of 100,000 square feet, offers all the popular Las Vegas table games and 1,200 of the latest slot and video poker machines. Elsewhere, a keno lounge operates 24/7 and a race and sports book caters for sports bettors seven days a week. Until 2022, the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino was home to the World Series of Poker. The prestigious tournament subsequently moved to Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas but, even so, the Rio poker room is non-smoking and has 14 tables offering cash games to all stakes 24 hours a day, as well as a daily schedule of guaranteed tournaments.

World-class gaming aside, the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino offers all the amenities you might expect to find in a Las Vegas hotel, on or off the Strip. Dining options abound, with a choice of nine on-site restaurants, while patrons seeking relaxation can take advantage of four pools – one of which has its own, albeit faux sand, beach – an on-site spa offering various treatments and a fitness centre.

Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino

As the name suggests, Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino is situated in downtown New Orleans, on the banks of the Mississippi River, in close proximity to the French Quarter, Convention Center and Caesars Superdome. The Harrah’s New Orleans Casino originally opened in October, 1999, but the Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel is a more recent development, having opened in September, 2006. The 26-storey hotel, which holds an AAA Four Diamond Award, offers 450 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, with spectacular views over Ol’ Man River and the New Orleans skyline.

The casino floor, which covers an area of 115,000 square feet, is home to over 130 table games, including traditional favourites such as baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette, and over 1,500 slot machines, with stakes ranging from a penny to $100 a spin. For poker players, the dedicated World Series of Poker (WSOP) Room features 20 tables offering not only the ever-popular Texas Hold’em, but also other poker variants, with games to suit all levels of ability and, of course, budget.

Smokers may be pleased to know that, while Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino operates a no-smoking policy throughout its buildings, three outdoor, climate-controlled smoking courtyards are available. Here, patrons can smoke away to their hearts’ content while playing their favourite table games and slots.

Away from the gaming floor, Harrah’s New Orleans offers a selection of upscale and casual dining options, a fitness centre and a spa. Live entertainment, music and other special events are available at The Harrah’s New Orleans Theatre and the 1,500-capacity Masquerade Night Club. For the best of both worlds, the Hoodoo Cocktail Lounge combines gambling opportunities with a selection of delectable signature cocktails served by friendly, attentive staff.

MGM Grand Las Vegas

MGM Grand Hotel Exterior

The MGM Grand, more or less in its current guise, has been a fixture of Las Vegas Boulevard, on the southerm end of the section known as the Strip, since December, 1993, although the iconic 45-foot-tall bronze lion statue outside the main entrance and lobby was not created until 1997. Befitting its name, the 30-storey MGM Grand offers 4,996 guest rooms and suites, ranging in size from 350 square feet to an eye-watering 9,000 square feet for a three-bedroom loft, which sleeps a maximum of nine people.

Aside from being the largest single hotel in the United States, the MGM Grand features a casino floor which, at 171,500 square feet, is the largest on the Strip. The gaming floor is home to 175 gaming tables, offering baccarat, blackjack, craps, pai gow and roulette, including the single zero version, and many more, not to mention over 2,000 slot and video poker machines, for those who prefer to gamble electronically. Poker players are catered for with a dedicated, non-smoking poker room, a popular destination for proponents of Texas Hold’em, while sports bettors can take advantage of a state-of-the-art sportsbook venue.

Elsewhere, the Grand Pool Complex, which covers 6.5 acres, features four outdoor swimming pools and three whirlpools, while other recreational amenities the Grand Spa, Hakkasan nightclub and the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Major music and sporting events, including championship boxing matches, are staged on a regular basis. Like everything else at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, the selection of dining options is not small. In fact, patrons can choose from a plethora of eateries, ranging from upscale restaurants to cafes and snack bars, including the Grand Buffet, which offers an enormous array of cuisine, at various price points.

WinStar World Casino & Resort

WinStar World Casino & Resort, formerly WinStar Casinos, is situated in the town of Thackerville, Oklahoma, just north of the Texan border off Interstate 35. Unsurprisingly, Winstar is a popular with North Texans and attracts many visitors from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, which is 60 minutes’ drive to the south.

WinStar was founded, as a bingo hall, by the Chickasaw Nation in 1991, but in the past three decades has expanded out of all recognition. Accommodation-wise, the original, 12-storey, 395-room Resort Tower opened in 2009 and was joined by the 18-storey, 500-room Pool Tower North and the 15-storey, 500-room Pool Tower North in 2013 and 2014, thereby increasing the total capacity to nearly 1,400.

Likewise, from small beginnings, the gambling floor has expanded down the years, such that it nowadays occupies an area of nearly 400,000 square feet and is divided into nine globally-themed gaming plazas, representing Beijing, New York, Paris and other worldwide cities. Collectively, the gaming plazas boast 100 table games, including classic blackjack, craps and roulette, and over 10,000 electronic games, which is, in fact, the largest compendium of such games to be found anywhere in the world.

Dedicated game rooms and spaces at WinStar World Casino & Resort include 360-seat bingo room, which is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a 55-table, non-smoking poker room, offering Texas Hold’em, Omaha and other poker variations and an off-track betting room, known as ‘Racers OTB’, which shows live horse racing coverage from around the world. If you find that you need to take a break from the gaming action for refreshment, you can take your pick of over 20 restaurants, ranging from fine dining to cafes and half a dozen lounges and bars, including a pool bar, each with a character consummate with its location.