A casino is an entertainment complex built to lure in gamblers with music, shows and free drinks. Though a wide range of games can be found in any casino, it is the slot machines and table games that draw in the majority of visitors, providing the billions of dollars that casinos rake in each year.

While gambling is almost certainly as old as civilization itself, the modern casino didn’t develop until the 16th century. This is when large public gambling houses were closed, and wealthy Italian aristocrats began holding private parties in small, private clubs called ridotti. It wasn’t long before a name was given to these venues, and the idea was adopted throughout Europe.

Almost every major city has a casino, and the best ones are not only impressive in size and beauty, but also offer an amazing number of gaming options. Some of the top ten are dedicated to particular types of gambling, while others focus on aesthetics or simply offer the most variety. These ten casinos have taken the art of gambling to the next level and are worth visiting for any self-indulgent traveller.

The Hippodrome in London is a great example of a casino built around music. Its decorations, theme and even the games are inspired by popular songs. While most casinos feature a wide array of games, this one is dedicated to poker and sports betting and features more than 130 tables and 60 large plasma screens.