Do you like to visit a casino when skiing? If like many skiers you like to follow risk taking in the mountains with a gambling in the evenings, then perhaps the 5 best casinos in ski resorts will inspire your next ski holiday.
2018 was an incredible ski season in both Europe and North America. With many European resorts experiencing the best snow in a generation, there were good conditions throughout the Alps. But on the back of a couple of poorer seasons it’s clear that booking a ski holiday in advance can be a bit of a gamble.
But then skiers and snowboarders are known for taking risks. Afterall, it is an extreme sport so each time you strap on your board or click into your skis you are gambling with your safety. Of course the risk is normally small and manageable, but it’s part of what makes winter sports fun.
The risk is taken to the next level by those that head off-piste and particularly those going into the backcountry, looking for cliff drops or skiing glaciated terrain. But then through training and experience they learn to reduce the risks to a level they are happy with.
The level of risk we find acceptable is different for everyone. Ask a non skier and they would probably say that any skiing is too dangerous for them. But what a backcountry skiers and snowboarders do is considered far too risky by most skiers.
It is probably this relationship with risk taking that means winter sports enthusiasts also like to visit a casino when skiing. After gambling with safety on the mountains it makes sense we want to continue that feeling by wagering money in the evening.
Of course there is another factor at play too – money. Although you can ski on a budget it is still an expensive sport and many skiers are very affluent. Being loaded and on holiday it makes perfect sense to visit a casino. Overall it’s no surprise that casinos and ski resorts often go hand in hand.
If you fancy a visit to a casino on your next ski holiday, then you should check out the top five casinos below. All are based in (or near) ski resorts across the world:
Built to compete with St Moritz in Switzerland, Megeve is a beautiful and classy ski resort. Located in the Evasion Mont Blanc ski area there is excellent skiing and plenty of it. It all comes with spectacular mountain views and some of the most high-end hotels in the Alps.
The casino attracts wealthy gamblers from all over Europe looking to break the bank. Casino Barriere Megeve was built to offer the high flyers who roll into town every winter somewhere to gamble. It is part of the larger Groupe Lucien Barriere, a luxury hotel, casino and resort business founded in the early 1900s.
With a grand interior design and a classy, elegant atmosphere, this historic casino is easily one of the best casinos in ski resorts. It has free entry and late closing hours – so you can keep partying on into the night after a day on the slopes.
While it doesn’t occupy the largest of spaces, Casino Barriere has more than its fair share of gambling options. There are a large range of tables including blackjack, punto banco and roulette – and there are over 60 slot machines including the latest in video technology.
But the game of choice here is poker. Tournaments taking place every day of the year – so you can challenge other skiers to a game of poker no matter when you’re in town. If you like to visit a casino when skiing you’ll love it here.
The resort in Davos is famous as the meeting place of the world’s most rich and powerful, who typically like to kick back and enjoy some gambling. Davos is one of the most popular ski resorts in Switzerland, and is also home to a wide range of other winter sports.
Founded in 1995 and owned by Stadtcasino Baden, the Davos casino is very swish to accommodate the high rollers who flock into town from Zurich, Milan and Geneva. It just had a slick new refurbishment and has a bustling and exciting atmosphere all year round making it one of the best casinos in ski resorts.
In Davos, you’re spoilt for choice for gambling options at one of the best casinos in ski resorts. With eight gaming tables including roulette wheels, blackjack stables and Texas Hold’ Em poker, as well as 70 slot machines.
Just remember to take your ID to the casino, as security and gambling addiction is taken very seriously in Switzerland. You may even be asked to stop if you’re seen to display any signs of gambling beyond your means.
Roulette’s pretty popular in Switzerland. To play this game well, you need an understanding of both American and European roulette – plus the house edge, probabilities, and most importantly, the payouts you’re likely to get. So it’s a good idea to check out this in-depth analysis of roulette odds before going anywhere near the wheel.
Lake Tahoe has one of the USA’s best ski resorts. Thanks to the proximity to Nevada there are some great casinos nearby. The classy Montbleu, opened in 1978, is one of the best nearby, and is a great way to end your day with plenty of games to choose from.
Owned by Tropicana Entertainment, a $25 million renovation in 2015 brought the Montbleu right into the 21st century, including a very swish gaming floor packed with best entertainment near the lake. It’s now a spacious set-up with elegant blue and gold touches throughout.
Guests can enjoy blackjack, craps, roulette, 3-card poker and slot games aplenty. But it’s the Las Vegas style entertainment on evenings and weekends that makes Montbleu a great party destination. If you like to visit a casino when skiing then it should not be missed.
Look out for weekly slot game tournaments and the Party Pit, where you can be entertained by Go-Go Dancers and music videos while you’re playing blackjack. There’s also a 483-room nature-themed hotel upstairs, so you could build your ski trip around a stay at the Montbleu.
Adventurers have been visiting Chamonix since 1760, when the resort started attracting mountaineers due to a prize being offered to be the first to climb Mont Blanc. These days it is France, if not Europe’s adventure capital. The casino in Chamonix is a busy hub and one of the best casinos in ski resorts.
The beautiful building that hosts the gaming floor, restaurant and bars dates back to 1860 and is next the famous statue of Saussure and Balmat, the first men to climb Mont Blanc. Napoleon visited the hotel in the 19th century – so it’s a place dripping with history.
Owned by the SFC Group, you’ll find blackjack, roulette, craps, punto banco and poker in the main room. There are plenty of private areas for VIP game of Texas Hold ‘Em if you’re important enough to host a big game!
On top of these great table games, there’s also a range of slot machines that make the headlines here. There are 70 of them altogether, with electronic roulette and traditional table games in a happy and relaxed atmosphere.
If you like to visit a casino when skiing Casino Barriere should be on your list. It makes for a great retreat from the slopes, plus it is a fantastic spot to take in the breathtaking views across the valley.
Kitzbühel famously hosts the Hahnenkamm downhill race every winter making it one of the best known ski resorts worldwide. The small medieval town is pretty and has a high-end feel to it with plenty of posh bars, fancy restaurants and luxurious hotels.
The elegant casino has a fairytale-esque setting in a glamorous building that was constructed in 1274, with the casino opening in in 1934. It boasts all the latest gaming machines and a huge selection of tables – perfect if you want to visit a casino when skiing.
Famous for its bustle and buzz, the family-owned Casino Kitzbühel offers a vibrant nightlife inside a sleek and sophisticated setting easily one of the best casinos in ski resorts. It’s the perfect place to get stuck into blackjack, roulette and poker. There are 48 slots, and 8 roulette, 3 poker and 7 blackjack tables across a huge gaming floor.
There’s also a bistro serving up winter warmers to hungry skiers. Plus a good bar that naturally serves up cold beer and mulled wine, ideal for a long night after a long day.
So if you would like to visit a casino when skiing you now know where to go. Choose one of the 5 best casinos in ski resorts above and you’ll be in for a great time. Be sure to check our ski holiday discounts as you could save a fortune on your next trip.