There are lots of reasons why you might want to travel in Asia: holidays, culture, business, heritage, entertainment… but then there are some niche options too. Sometimes it’s good to have a central purpose for your trip, to help decide between the different options and destinations available to you.

For many, a casino vacation sounds like a great opportunity to relax, partake in exciting games and even possibly make some money. You might still think that Las is the go-to casino destination of world travel, but Asia has its own share of interesting and exciting casino options. In fact, ten of the world’s largest casino developments are located in Asia, which is certainly testament to the impressive level of gaming supply and demand on the continent.

The rate of investment is increasing all the time, particularly in previously untapped corners of the market like North Asia. Typically, the central hub of casino resorts has been near the south coast of China, mostly in Macau and Singapore. However, North Asian casinos are quickly catching up in popularity and appeal. This is good news not just for casino fans, but also for those who prefer upscale resorts as the investment in casino resorts means a multitude of competitive accommodation options and even non-gaming entertainment options like variety shows and music gigs for all, to be found under the roof of such resorts – not to mention delectable restaurants.

So even if you’re not already an avid player of the tables, perhaps you should go ahead and consider some of the new casino resort options in Asia for your next holiday. And even if you aren’t an avid player, you may still want to learn the basics just in case. Indeed, before going to a real casino you can try your luck online at William Hill and familiarize yourself with the subtle nuances of each game.

But whether you’re planning your trip as we speak, or just gathering ideas for the future, here’s our list of the top casino destinations in North Asia!

Japan

MGM’s proposed new integrated casino resort in Osaka, Japan

A few months ago, in December, the Japanese parliament passed a bill that legalized casino gambling across the nation. This marked a huge turning point in Japanese law.

The decision has opened the door for a new wave of casino resorts, hotels and complexes, all of which will undoubtedly allow Japan to become Asia’s latest casino powerhouse – and a hotspot for international players and investment alike. MGM alone are looking to pump around $10 billion into a Japanese casino, according to their chief executive. Now that’s serious money!

There are also a number of dedicated travel sites like Tokyo Hotel Casino that are starting to gain more traction among keen tourists looking to make the trip over to the land of the rising sun. They’re good to check as the recent changes to local legislation will undoubtedly allow for new developments in the area.

If you’re looking to add some local flavor to your holiday, the Japanese are in love with a slots-like gambling machine called pachinko. There are nearly 12,000 pachinko halls nationwide, where you’re likely to find yourself looking around with awe at the sheer number of machines and players. Pachinko is quite easy to learn, and at the very least makes for very interesting travel photos.

Another little known fact about gambling in Japan is that the locals traditionally engage in keirin, the practice of betting on bicycle races. This type of bicycle race was developed by the government in 1948 and has actually become an Olympic sport.

Russia

The newly opened Sochi Resort and Casino in Sochi, Russia

Russia is quickly gaining popularity among tourists who are looking for a fun, engaging casino experience in North Asia. Perhaps the most impressive venue for all-round entertainment is the recently opened Sochi Casino and Resort. Located in the Gorki Gorod mountain resort and costing $66.3 million to build, the venue went live in January 2017 and now serves as an entertainment hub for the region.

Of course, skiing through the mountain range that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics is all well and good, but when the cold weather gets a little too much the casino is a handy warm retreat. As well as boasting 569 slots, 70 gaming tables and space for 2,000 gamers, the casino has a full selection of non-gaming entertainment. For lovers of fine dining, Brunello offers a gastronomic journey through Europe’s finest foods thanks to chef Ilya Zakharov, while the theatre hosts international acts as well as local artists such as singer Lyubov Uspenskaya.

India

Mayfair Spa Resort in Gangtok, India

India has seen remarkable growth in its three major casino towns in recent years – Goa, Daman and Sikkim. This includes its world-famous range of floating gambling resorts, which are certainly the best place to lay down your chips if you love a cool river breeze and fantastic views.

Although Goa is perhaps the most well-known destination for tourists, the most impressive casino complex can be found at the Mayfair Spa Resort in Gangtok. Under Indian law, all live casinos have to be attached to a resort, which is why you’ll be able to enjoy a range of five-star services when you’re not at the gaming tables. Whether you want to sample some local delicacies in the Jungle Café or cleanse your mind in the resort’s gym, this venue has a wealth of things on offer besides the 15 gaming tables and 7 poker tables.

So where will you go?

The rate of growth we’re seeing in Asian casino developments outside of the traditional epicenter of Macau and South-East China really is remarkable. Because modern casinos are more than places to play blackjack and the like, travellers of all persuasions are keen to visit them. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you’re into betting or not, Asia’s finest gaming resorts now offer a complete entertainment experience. So, if you’re looking for an action-packed holiday, it’s worth betting on a casino resort.