10 Alternatives to the Las Vegas Vacation

Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Amsterdam's Holland Casino sits on the Leidsekade Canal. © Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis

No stranger to vice tourism, Amsterdam has hosted visitors looking for sex and drugs pretty much since sex and drugs were invented, tsked and regulated. What so many of those visitors don't know is that they can gamble there, too -- and not just in the red-light district.

The Netherlands is home to more than a dozen government-operated casinos, and Amsterdam has a couple. One is in the airport, a rather casual affair, for placing some heavily jet-lagged bets; and another one out in the city with a dress code, a cover charge and a great location right on the water [source: Carmichael].

The city's posh Holland Casino shows up along a popular canal-cruise route, and it's the only one in Amsterdam that offers the types of nightclubs, poker tournaments and fine restaurants you find in a nice Vegas joint [source: WGA].

And then there are the countless non-government-run locales, often literally back rooms, with free entry, terrible odds and the stench of desperation you find in a bad Vegas joint. If you're looking to win, don't bother [source: WGA]. If you're looking to fully experience all that is gambling in Amsterdam, then by all means, have a go.

Check out Amsterdam's impressive modern architecture, museums and sculpture parks during the trip. Art and vice are historically good buddies.