In modern times, when we think of the greatest casinos on Earth, size is usually a primary criterion. The general consensus goes: the bigger the better.
However, there are many casinos – both famous and obscure – all over the world that pride on themselves on their diminutive sizes and the novelty and/or exclusivity that this affords them. Here’s a quick run-through, in no particular order, of five such cosy venues that top the list of tiny casinos.
Reels on Wheels in London
The smallest land-based casino in the world doesn’t actually have a permanent address; it is housed within a taxi cab that roams the streets of the United Kingdom in search of guests interested in gambling on the move.
This innovative casino on wheels was launched by internationally renowned gaming operator, Grosvenor as part of its “play your way” ad campaign. Although it doesn’t actually include slots, it does feature a croupier, gaming table, online gambling services, a bar, and even a TV screening live sporting events.
Gambling and Groceries in San Diego
Arguably one of the wackiest gaming venues on Earth, simply known as the “Slots Arcade, is located in inside a mini-market in North County in San Diego, California. It contains just 30 slot machines and not absolutely nothing else. The arcade, which is a project of the La Jolla Indian Band, measures just 15 by 40 feet – making it a 30th of the size of the smallest Vegas casino and a 1000th of the size of the Venetian Macao. In fact, it’s so small that you might actually miss it while you’re doing your grocery shopping. It cost a modest (by casino standards) US$500 000 to construct and has become a major tourist attraction, based largely on its novelty value, since it opened several years ago.
A Casino Cruise Out Of India
The Deltin Royale, a small cruise ship that operates off the coast of Panjim, is an alternative way for casino enthusiasts to escape the legal constraints surrounding gambling in India because it ventures into international waters.
Although the number of tables available aboard the Deltin Royale is quite limited, the casino makes up for this with a variety of games on option. These include Indian Flush (Teen Patti), Baccarat, Texas Hold’em Poker, American roulette, blackjack, slot machines, three-card draw and five-card poker, mini-flush, money wheel, and casino war. The vessel also houses various dining and entertainment venues, to complete the overall experience.
Understandably, this floating casino has become a great favourite for tourists and locals alike.
Underground Wins in Somerset, UK
If you’re ever in the region of Yeoville in Somerset UK, then you are in for a really unique casino experience. This time the fun goes underground in a renovated wine cavern beneath an exclusive country-house-turned-boutique hotel that dates back to the 1300s.
The underground hall has a maximum capacity of 30 people and offers a roulette wheel, poker room, and a blackjack table – administered by professional local croupiers. Novelty combines with exclusivity at this venue since the word is that you have to rent out the entire 21-bedroom house to gain access to the casino. It’s also not clear whether this venue qualifies as a formal gambling hall since word has it that no actual money changes hands. It is a simple yet elegant way for guests to have a little fun.
Dashed Dreams in Santa Ysabel
The final contender for the smallest casino crown is actually no longer in the running because it closed its doors in 2014 due to financial difficulties. In its heyday, however, the Indian-owned Santa Ysabel in San Diego CA was a popular tourist attraction, featuring six gaming tables offering blackjack and poker.
The building that housed the venue still stands and may yet be returned to its former glory by prospective owners who aim to bring the casino back to life in the near future.