The country of Egypt is commonly associated with history, ruins, and natural wonders — from its breathtaking pyramids and the Sahara Desert to the mesmerizing Nile and countless burial sites. All of these attractions make the country an ideal destination for many. It’s easy enough to save money traveling in Egypt even as you enjoy sights and activities you won’t find the like of anywhere else in the world. Not very many destinations can make the same claim.
There’s also a different and distinctly more modern side to Egypt that gets far less attention. If you’re the kind of tourist who enjoys things like extravagant hotels and luxurious casinos, there is also plenty to enjoy in the country (perhaps in between excursions to historical landmarks). Indeed, you’ll be sure to appreciate how Egypt combines modernity with history.
With all of that said, here are some of the best casinos you should visit when you go to the country:
Sinai Grand Casino
Housed in the Sonesta Beach Resort in Sharm El-sheik, the Sinai Grand Casino is known to have hosted the first poker tournament in Egypt back in 2008. Currently, it has 210 gaming machines and 29 tables for poker, blackjack, and roulette. The casino is also known for its beautiful poker room and Marika Ristorante, one of the finest Italian restaurants in the area. Keep in mind that entering the casino, or any other Egyptian casino, will mean having to show a passport or ID that lists your nationality. A DailyNewsEgypt.com article notes that this is because local laws actually don’t allow Egyptian citizens to play in casinos. So long as you’re not from the country.
Located in Sharm El-sheik, the Casino Royale was inspired by European casinos. The casino features 97 slot machines, 20 tables for roulette, blackjack, three-card brag, and poker. It also has a great bar and restaurant for when you want to take a break.
It’s worth mentioning that, because only foreigners are allowed inside casinos, then expect that you’ll be using foreign currency. U.S. dollars are used most frequently, but some casinos also use Euros. You can exchange your Egyptian pounds for U.S. dollars or Euros in casinos. And in the case of the Casino Royale, U.S. dollars are used, and their cash desk accepts most international currencies. Plus, the croupiers are well versed in several languages –– namely Russian, English, Italian, and Arabic.
Caesars Cairo Casino
The Caesars Cairo is a classic casino situated by the Nile River. It’s located inside the Four Seasons First Residence Hotel, which offers a beautiful view of the pyramids, the river, and the city. If you’re looking to play some poker, this casino offers several types: royal poker, 3-card poker, stud poker, and Texas Hold ’em. Make sure to learn proper poker room etiquette before playing in a casino. As explained in Poker.org’s beginner’s guide to playing poker in a casino, standard casino rules include tipping the dealer after winning a pot. Also, make sure you only act when it’s your turn to be polite to the other players.
Beyond its excellent poker scene, this casino also offers 24 slot machines and tables for roulette and blackjack. Some rooms provide VIP and VVIP gaming experiences for more high-stake games. If you’re a valued guest in this casino, you also get additional benefits and discounts you can claim in their partner casinos in London and Las Vegas.
Casino Barriere el Gezirah
Found on the banks of the Nile, this top-notch casino is housed in the Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah. It has 45 slot machines and at least 25 tables for blackjack, stud poker, and roulette. The casino also offers the Lucky Ladies version of blackjack, which has higher stakes. To increase your chances of winning, LiveAbout.com’s guide to blackjack notes that most casinos allow the use of basic strategy charts as long as it doesn’t slow down the game. While some simple strategies can carry you through your first few games, it’s still best to learn independently, so you don’t need a chart.
Meanwhile, when you’re outside the casino, you can try out the spa, pool, fitness center, and high-end accommodations. On top of all that, some restaurants and bars serve specific cuisines, such as Asian and Italian, and even offer a buffet.
These are the attractions that tend to be overlooked in Egypt due to the unmatched wealth of history travelers get to explore in the area. If you’re looking for a more luxurious, modern experience, however –– or you just want a bit of recreation and relaxation following a tour of the country’s ancient attractions –– any of these casinos can make for a brilliant stop.