With an architectural style reminiscent of a wooden Victorian beach resort, similar to California's Hotel Del Coronado, The Ridge Casino is truly a sight to behold. And things are no less impressive when you walk through the front door, with a casino floor that's almost 50,000 square feet.
Inside the casino are almost 500 slot machines, 7 progressive jackpot games and 18 tables. Featured table games include American Roulette, Blackjack and Raise 'Em Poker. Not a bad selection, no doubt, but we're still not quite over the disappointment of European Roulette, Craps and Baccarat being absent from the majority of South African land-based casinos!
You'll find 240 slots on the main casino floor and 140 in the separate smoking casino, with denominations ranging from 5c to R25, plus progressive jackpots spread throughout. There are 45 more slot machines in the exclusive Salon Privé, which is reserved for Gold and Platinum MVG cardholders.
The Ridge Casino lists their payouts on their website, and it's great to see that their slots payout numbers in the tens of millions of Rand every week. There are also various seasonal promotions, like Money Mania and Super 9, which make playing at the casino even more lucrative.
The venue isn't a megacasino with thousands of slots by any means but it has a much more comprehensive selection of games than smaller, local South African land-based casinos. The result is a venue that feels friendly and easy to navigate without compromising on any gambling action.
For drinks or light bites at The Ridge Casino visitors can try Hot Dog Harry (no prizes for guessing what they sell!) or Baxter's Lounge Bar while the Cuban Coffee Company serves up delicious caffeinated drinks to fuel your next gambling session.
The main restaurant at The Ridge is Billy G, which offers a live cooking buffet. Some guests may be a little disappointed to find that there isn't much in the way of a la carte dining. But don't fret!
The adjacent Highveld Mall features a number of coffee shops, restaurants etc. including Mugg & Bean, Debonair’s Pizza and Nando's. If the dining options at The Ridge Casino aren't quite living up to your expectations, or you just want to try something different, the mall is just a few minutes away.
Guests of The Ridge Casino are spoilt for choice when it comes to hotels. The nearby StayEasy Emalahleni offers cheap (without compromising on quality) and cheerful accommodation, and is conveniently situated by the Highveld Mall.
The SUN1 Witbank, which is about 10-15 minutes drive from the casino, offers trendy and modern rooms that are very affordable. Ideal if you'd rather save some more money for when you hit the tables or visit the slots!
If your budget can stretch a little further, see if you can score one of Southern Sun The Ridge's 40 luxurious rooms – this 4 star hotel is widely regarded as one of the best places to stay in Witbank.
With a buffet breakfast, outdoor pool and private gardens, not to mention the convenient location on the casino complex, it's the obvious choice for players who plan to spend a lot time gambling but also want to enjoy the pleasures of an upmarket hotel.
As well as plenty of retail therapy in the adjacent mall, The Ridge Casino complex itself also has activities and events that will delight gamers. Enjoy a round of mini golf or ten pin bowling if you feel like getting in touch with your inner child, or have brought kids with you who need entertaining!
Those who need a break from gambling can also visit the adjoining cinema to see one of the latest blockbusters, take in some live music or stand-up comedy at The Ridge or tee off at the Bankenveld Golf Club.
There's no on-site nightclub or anything like that, so any night owls will have to rely on some drinks and jazz in Baxter's Lounge Bar or a bit of gambling until it's time for bed.
The Ridge is capable of playing host to weddings, conferences, product launches and various other events, though we can't imagine that's your main area of interest if you're on this site!
As we've described above, there are all sorts of activities to enjoy at The Ridge Casino and its location right next to a mall only helps matters. It can't legitimately claim to be one of South Africa's megacasinos, but The Ridge has built a great reputation for itself that many land-based casinos would kill for.
Whether you're in the thick of the action at the casino or taking a sunset stroll around the nearby Witbank Nature Reserve, you're sure to have a short (or not so short) break to remember at The Ridge Casino.
Land Casino Review by: Casino.co.za