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There is something unabashedly over-the-top about a casino—even above and beyond it being a place where the brave risk losing a lot of money in hopes of gaining more. And as gaming culture becomes increasingly popular, the casino experience has grown into far more than blackjack and slots, often involving renowned names in the hotel, food and entertainment worlds.

While Las Vegas remains the gold standard, there are several international hot spots—both classic and new—that deserve attention. Take the endlessly sophisticated Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, which is located next to Casino de Monte-Carlo, the grande dame of the gaming world. Elegant galas are hosted often at restaurant La Salle Empire, and chef Alain Ducasse runs his Michelin three-star Louis XV here.

In Singapore the entire Marina Bay Sands entertainment complex, including a casino (among countless other points of interest), is now valued at roughly $8 billion, making it the most expensive stand-alone casino property in the world. And tucked away in the Swiss Alps is the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, with its newly renovated gaming floor, spa, two golf courses and thermal pools. The bucolic mountain setting tempers the traditionally bombastic casino vibe, proving that even when it comes to a casino hotel, you can have it both ways.

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