The world's gaming industry depends on delivering that larger than life experience so that it can keep drawing in millions of visitors each month. The worldwide casino industry is expected to deliver revenues of $144 billion this year alone.
Little wonder, gaming companies are constantly trying to outdo themselves with the most extravagant properties. From recreating Venice on a little island in East Asia to building replicas of Parisian monuments in Vegas, casino projects are often the most ostentatious and expensive private constructions. Some have nearly driven their parent companies to bankruptcy.
Click on to read about some of the most expensive casino properties ever built.
By Ansuya Harjani
Posted 2 May 2011
Price: $1.2 Billion
Constructed in 2006,Wynn Macau has been a key growth driver for parent company Wynn Resorts.
Asia’s voracious appetite for gambling and growing wealth in the region, helped the casino post a 47% jump in operating revenue in the first quarter of 2011, double that of its Las Vegas counterpart which saw just a 24% increase.
Price: $1.60 Billion
Built on the demolition site of the legendary Dunes Hotel, the first hotel in Nevada to offer a topless show, Bellagio continues to live up to the hype of its predecessor.
Constructed to resemble an Italian village, this casino resort overlooks an eight-acre, Mediterranean-blue lake along with the famous dancing Fountains of Bellagio.
Price: $1.7 Billion
Owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands, The Venetian Las Vegas features a life-like replica of St Mark’s Campanile in Venice, Italy.
This renaissance-themed property has been used a backdrop for many movies including Resident Evil, Miss Congeniality 2 and Con Air.
The Venetian is also home to Madame Tussaud's wax museum and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum.
Price: $2.10 Billion
The brainchild of Australian business tycoon James Packer and Lawrence Ho, City of Dreams consists of a cluster of hotels including Grand Hyatt, Hard Rock and Towers Hotel in Macau.
Analysts have become more bullish on the shares of parent company Melco Crown and a number of investment banks rate Melco one of hottest casino stocks to invest in this year.
Price: $2.3 Billion
Encore Las Vegas and sister property Wynn Las Vegas together hold more Forbes five-star awards than any other resort and casino in the world.
The resort’s Encore Beach Club, now open for its 2011 summer pool season, is known for drawing in a high-profile crowd ranging from athletes to models.
Last year, gaming mogul Steve Wynn expanded the Encore brand of hotels and casinos opening an all-suites boutique hotel in Macau.
Price: $2.40 Billion
Located opposite the City of Dreams, Venetian Macau is home to the largest casino in the world.
Reminiscent of its sister-property in Las Vegas, the casino resort brags life-like replicas of Venice landmarks such as St. Mark's Square and Doge's Palace.
If that isn’t Italian enough, the hotel also features three indoor canals along with gondolas and singing gondoliers.
Price: $2.70 Billion
This lavish casino resort situated on the Las Vegas Strip is the flagship property of Wynn Resorts.
Wynn’s gleaming bronze tower was the first Vegas hotel to incorporate a luxury car dealership (Ferrari and Maserati) and is home to the Strip’s only premium 18-hole golf course.
Wynn also boasts a trendy nightclub that features an 8 story high indoor waterfall surrounding the expansive dance floor.
Price: $4.53 Billion
Situated on Singapore's resort island of Sentosa, this casino retreat is also home to Southeast Asia’s only Universal Studios theme park and Marine Life Park, the world's largest aquarium.
Resorts World Sentosa features six uniquely themed hotels including Hard Rock Hotel, Hotel Michael, Crockfords Tower Facility, Equarius Hotel and Spa Villas.
The casino-resort, while largely family focused, generated $2 billion in gaming revenue during 2010 thanks to the region’s booming demand for gambling.
Price: $5.36 Billion
The most recent addition to the list, Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands drew more than 11 million visitors during its first year of operation.
The blazing success of the integrated resort has been instrumental in placing parent company Las Vegas Sands back on track after a bankruptcy scare three years ago.
Sheldon Adelson’s latest Asian venture is famous for its 200-meter-tall, boat-shaped SkyPark and infinity pool that offer guests a one of a kind, panoramic view of the city’s skyline.
Price: $9 Billion
This 18-million-square-foot, $9 billion casino complex is billed as the most expensive private construction project in U.S. history.
CityCenter, a city-within-a-city on the Las Vegas Strip, includes a sprawling casino, 4 hotels, 2,400 homes and 42 restaurants and bars.
Completed in 2009, the lavish project was $1.2 billion over-budget and continues to be a major drag for parent company MGM Resorts, which posted a loss of $1.44 billion in 2010.