Spaniards do love casinos - but until fairly recently residents of Madrid had to travel half an hour north to the Gran Casino Madrid in the town of Torrelodones. That changed in 2013 when the company opened a four-storey, 4,100-square-metre (44,000-square-foot) branch in the capital's downtown (Paseo de Recoletos 37) with natural lighting (unique in Europe) and a varied, sophisticated mix of gambling options - table games, slots, the works. The décor is rather impressive, including elements such as lush interior gardens (one of them vertical) and a pair of giant Murano glass mosaics. There are also a trio of bars, serving terrific tapas and some of Madrid's best cocktails (one of them, Rhum & Rum, boasts 40 types of rum from around the world). Hours are 11PM to 5AM (till 6AM at the weekend), and you can get your first visit free with a pass from the casino's website, www.CasinoGranMadrid.es.
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