Should we be watching casinos for the next food sensation?

Many things come to mind when we think of casinos: the bright lights and loud music of the Las Vegas Strip, the chiming bells and spinning reels of slot machines, the hushed chatter of the crowd as they gather around a roulette table… Many things have become synonymous with the casino lifestyle, and for the longest time, this has excluded great food. Although often regarded as high-class and glamorous, casinos have had very little appeal to those who aren’t inclined to gamble, as many options for entertainment and gourmet food can always be found outside of a casino’s halls. Recent trends dictate, however, that this may soon change.

Reports by the American Gaming Association have found that casinos nowadays have shifted from a purely gaming business model, to one that involves elements from other industries as well. Many casinos have begun construction on what have become known as “integrated resorts” – large-scale structures where customers come not only to gamble, but also to experience everything from five-star lodging to first-class entertainment and dining. The saturation of the casino industry has forced operators to begin creating new experiences for their patrons, opting to try and set themselves apart from other casinos by other means instead.

This has given birth not just to new entertainment experiences, but new dining experiences as well. Similar to the Snow Village in Finland, Gala Casino is now hard at work designing and developing an Ice Casino in Sweden, where all roulette, poker and Blackjack tables, chairs and drinking glasses will be made from ice, and group dining tables and the bar will follow the circular design of an igloo. The Ice Casino is set to be constructed in November this year, and maintained until April next year, when it will be allowed to melt and be reconstructed in the winter according to Sabotage Times.

Of course, other casinos have opted for a much more perennial setup, approaching well-known chefs and performers to make their casinos their new homes. Guy Savoy has famously recreated his flagship restaurant in the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where he hosts the only Krug Chef’s Table in the United States. Parties of six can enjoy an intimate view of the kitchen and watch as their meals are being prepared, pairing their tasters with prestige cuveé Champagnes – definitely a high-class experience one wouldn’t have expected from a Vegas casino. In Macau, the Robuchon au Dome at the Grand Lisboa offers its patrons more than just three-Michelin-starred cuisine, but a beautiful view of the city of Macau as well. Beautiful views and decadent meals come together as patrons enjoy a unique dining experience under the glass dome at the pinnacle of the Grand Lisboa, quite literally bringing casino dining to new heights.

We may not have always seen casino as excellent choices for fine dining, but as the industry continues to grow even more congested, operators have begun looking to shake things up. With the help of new restaurants and renowned chefs, the casino food industry is rising with renewed vigor, and it may be wise to start giving casinos a second glance.

(Some rights reserved, Steven Depolo via Flickr Creative Commons)

Guest Post – thank you for supporting the brands that support Chritiques.