I know, the name Bellagio sounds very familiar but this casino operation in Sri Lanka has no connection with the Bellagio in Las Vegas. This casino is a part of a group that owns and operates two casinos in Colombo, the other one being Bally’s. Bally’s is bigger in terms of gaming floor space and facilities. Bellagio Colombon is located at 430, R. A. De Mel Mawatha, Colombo-53 (Phone: 94-755-886688). It may not be as large as Bally’s (my personal favorite) but going by the crowds that throng this casino every evening, Bellagio is definitely a popular casino in Colombo and is open 24 hours a day.
Sometimes, the crowd is so large that it becomes impossible to get a seat on any table except some Roulette tables in the back. Still, guests keep pouring in and all are welcomed in to the casino. All drinks (soft and hard), snacks, meals are free for players till the time they remain in the casino. The dining area on the first floor gets full at dinner time. If one is interested in their free buffet dinner, it is better to eat early. The quality of food is decent and the choice of drinks is good. They have a membership card that entitles the holder to certain privileges like participation in lucky draws, etc. but the casino is very selective in enroling new members. Minimum bets on most games start at Lankan Rupees 1000. There are a few slot machines in the casino but not very good in terms of games or payouts. Table games in Bellagio include Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Baccarat, Roulette, Texas Bonus Poker, and Asia Poker.
The casino promises “Highest Winning Percentage in the World”, that would mean that the gaming rules for most games are supposed to be player friendly. To give an example, in Blackjack players can surrender their hand for a 50% cut except when the dealer has an Ace. Doubling is allowed on any card combination. Side bets on pairs are allowed in Blackjack that pay 25 to 1 (Perfect Pairs), 12 to 1 (Colored Pairs), and 5 to 1 (Mixed Pairs). These rules are applicable at most times but sometimes when they suspect a player to be counting cards or whatever, they temporarily change the rules. In any case, you should not take the claim of “highest winning percentages in the world” at face value. Its just another casino and you know how they are.
Entertainment-wise, the scene is good as the casino keeps orgainising dance and music programs with the help of foreign artists from India, Ukraine, and even Thailand.
For high rollers, they offer packages that include air travel, hotel stay, and meals, etc. But taking a package means you are obligated to play certain games for a certain amount of money and hence this package business is a bad idea unless you love losing your money in exchange for benefits that are equal to 10% of your likely losses.
Major foreign currencies are exchanged at the cashier’s cage or on the tables at very good exchange rates. At the cashier’s cage one case use visa / mastercard also. Free car drop to their hotels is offered to players. So plan on playing responsibly and leaving early. You will be happy.
Important: The casino remains closed on Poya holidays which are Buddhist holidays and number approximately 12 in a year. Hence, find out when the Poya holidays fall before planning a trip to a Colombo casino.