Travelocity Features Off-Beat Summer Gambling Spots for High-Rollers and Novices Alike; From Niagara Falls to the French Alps, Travelocity Editors Scoured the Globe in Search of Top Destinations to Roll the Dice, Load the Slots and Place Some Bets

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 16, 2006–The popularity of gambling hot spots such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City have skyrocketed in recent years, with Vegas luring a record 38.6 million visitors in 2005, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. With these destinations hot on travelers’ minds and summer vacation season just around the corner, Travelocity editors compiled a list of travel-worthy destinations that gamblers may have overlooked when booking their last casino-studded getaway.

“Las Vegas continues to be the top destination for gambling, and it even has a selection of lesser-known spots to place your bets,” said Jennifer Gaines, a Travelocity editor. “However, far beyond the Vegas city limits there are interesting gambling destinations for travelers to enjoy.”

From the gambling spots made famous by the Wild West Gold Rush to destinations cultivated by contemporary generations, Travelocity Editors found 10 destinations so good they’d put their money on them:

Catch Lady Luck on the Lost Continent: Inspired by history’s most legendary continent, Atlantis resort brings elements of the lost civilization to life through artifacts, architecture and art. Located on Paradise Island, Bahamas, even the Atlantis Casino succeeds in illuminating historical elements of the Atlantean culture. Spanning the resort’s seven-acre lagoon, the casino links two towers, allowing both night and day to enter the gaming hall through its skylights. Vibrant glass sculptures, such as the 30,000 pound Crystal Gate by artist Dale Chihuly, energize the casino with aesthetic appeal. Between Chihuly’s works on the casino floor and the breathtaking views of the waterscape, players may very well be distracted from their game.

A Gambler’s Roadside Stomping Grounds: Every road trip calls for a few requisite stops: Dairy Queen, a local gas station and a roadside restroom or two. But for those driving through Sparks, NV, the stop of choice for truckers and gamblers alike is the Alamo Casino & Travel Center. It could possibly be one of the only gambling meccas located between an Iron Skillet and a Laundromat, but don’t let the truck stop location fool you into thinking it’s for amateurs. The casino shells out $1 million weekly and has slots, blackjack tables and a poker room.

High-Stakes on the High Seas: Tapping into the popularity of gambling, cruise lines have lured casino junkies (and their wallets) to the sea for years. Sail Carnival Cruise Line and try to beat the odds playing MegaCash. With a payout reaching more than $1 million, this progressive game weighs in as the world’s largest cruise ship jackpot. If gaming happens to be your thing, you can even enroll in Carnival’s Ocean Players Club to earn points and receive rewards. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines have similar programs for frequent players. Pick a cruise line, and choose a destination. Whether the ship sails the South Pacific or the Mediterranean Sea, chances are blackjack, roulette and slot machines await.

Gamble Like a King: Perfectly nestled at the water’s edge of Lac du Bourget in the Savoie region of the French Alps, Aix les Bains is known by Westerners for its soothing hot springs and alpine skiing. With a gambling history that dates back to the 19th century, this French town not only lures skiers, but it also has a thing or two for gamers as well. Visit Casino Grand Cercle, established in 1850 by King Victor Emmanuel II. What first began as a modest gambling hall soon became the central meeting point for the town and has grown into one of France’s most distinguished casinos. A work of art in itself, the casino boasts gorgeous mosaics on the ceilings. While you’re there, take a peek in the Salon Baccara to see a painting that shows the impact of a bullet fired by one unlucky player.

European Charm, The Vegas Way: With mountains lingering in the background and Lake Las Vegas at its feet, the Mediterranean-themed Montelago Village Resort seems to have captured old world charm, gently placing it in the Las Vegas desert. Both locals and visitors alike play their game of choice at the resort’s Tuscan-inspired casino, located 17 relaxing miles from the bright lights of the Strip. The gaming hall features more than 600 slot machines and also claims bragging rights for the most 100 percent payback video poker machines in Vegas. Players also can try their luck at craps, roulette, 3-card poker or blackjack. If you grow tired of gambling, or perhaps exceed your limit, meander down the cobblestone path for a fantastic view of the lake.

Wind, Water and a Little Luck: Created with comfort, style and an element of luck in mind, the Feng Shui-designed Niagara Fallsview Casino in Ontario could possibly be one of the luckiest, or at least comfiest, gambling venues around. According the ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui, which literally translates to “wind and water,” the proper arrangement of space leads to harmony within one’s environment. Introduce a little good fortune and a spectacular view of Horseshoe Falls into this equation and you get an elegant casino for placing your bets. Further adhering to Chinese philosophy, the casino avoided the number four in its rooms and floors, designing the structure without a 4th, 14th, 24th or 34th floor. But, if four happens to be your lucky number, no worries! It’s still on the roulette wheel.

Sunning, Swimming and Wagering: Known for its rockin’, rollin’ and partying ways, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino boasts one of the hippest pools in Sin City. Celebs lounge there. High-rollers play there. And, everyone who’s anyone wants to stay there. This trendy Las Vegas venue attracts sun junkies with its Beach Club cabanas, but the swim-up blackjack is what gets gamblers to the pool. Stay in the water sipping a tropical concoction and place a wager at Poolside Palapa’s blackjack table. There’s no place better (or at the very least, wetter) to play a game of 21 in Las Vegas.

Off the Strip, Into Nature: Situated a good 10 miles off the Las Vegas strip, Red Rock Casino touts itself as “provocative, playful and never boring.” Its desert location, not far from the Valley of Fire State Park, makes this resort unlike any other in Sin City. Picturesque views of Red Rock Canyon create an ambiance that’s both rugged and elegant — an ideal scene for the high-stakes gambler who appreciates the great outdoors as well. The gaming hall offers more than 3,000 of the newest slot and video games, two high-limit areas and an unbeatable race and sports book.

The Birthplace of Dead Man’s Hand: Step into a bit of Wild West history at Saloon No. 10 on Main Street Deadwood to play a hand where Wild Bill Hickok spent his final minutes. Steeped in Wild West history, Deadwood, SD emerged as a town known for its gambling and lawlessness during the Black Hills Gold Rush in the late 1800s. This rough and rowdy town attracted such notorious characters as Calamity Jane and Wild Bill. Unfortunately for the iconic Old West figure, the inside of Deadwood’s Saloon No. 10 was the last thing Wild Bill saw before he was shot down by a rival while playing a hand of poker. According to the dealer, he was holding a pair of aces and a pair of eights, all black, which became known as “Dead Man’s Hand.” You can still play a hand in this historical saloon, but Wild Bill would likely recommend that you don’t sit with your back to the door.

A Sports-Fanatic’s Dream Come True: At Treasure Chest Casino, sports fans can have their cake and eat it too. Visit this riverboat gaming hotspot on New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain to revel and wager in the Sports Fun Pit. Place bets at one of the table games, and watch the game on plasma TVs at the same time. Bet high at Treasure’s High Limit slot area; play it safe in the Penny Parlor; or try your luck with Elvis Progressive Games. While there won’t be an in-house impersonator of “The King,” this casino does do “Las Vegas, New Orleans style.”

    Money Saving Tips

    --  Plan a gambling budget before stepping foot into the casino.

    --  Get up from the table when you've reached your limit -- don't
        "chase" your losses.

    --  Leave the ATM card behind and only carry cash that you can
        afford to lose.

    --  Keep your gambling bankroll separate from money for food, tips
        and other essentials.

For more gambling destinations and tips, go to

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    SOURCE: Travelocity