It’s hard to believe a life before the internet – especially as we rely on it so heavily for everything: communication, news, shopping, and gaming to name but a few. But before casino aficionados got their gaming fix via their favourite online casino website or app, an evening’s entertainment at a land-based establishment was the only option available.
If you’re wondering which casinos are the most iconic or famous – read on, as we will take you on a round-the-world journey throughout this post!
Venice, Italy – the original
Considered the world’s oldest casino, the Casino di Venezia is housed at the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi Palace in Venice. Situated on Grand Canal, it was opened in 1638 and gives a glimmer of what casinos used to be like, back in the day – a far cry from the mega resorts we are more familiar with today. The Casino di Venezia helped kick-off the craze, and soon more casinos cropped up – not just in the city, but all over Italy, and the rest of Europe for that matter.
There’s an air of sophistication at the Casino di Venezia, with dealers in tuxedos keeping track of the action. With hundreds of games available, including Blackjack, Roulette and Poker, as well as 600 slot machines, it’s easy to get your casino fix.
Fun fact: the site is also home to the Richard Wagner Museum, as that was the composer’s final resting place.
Monte Carlo, Monaco – the iconic
Steeped in history, the Casino de Monte-Carlo first opened its doors is 1863, and was founded by Francois Blanc. One of the famous Blanc brothers, he and Louis are said to have introduced the single 0 variation of the Roulette wheel 20 years previous. The casino is well known for its gambler’s fallacy, when in 1913, during a game of Roulette, the ball landed in a black pocket no fewer than 26 times, consecutively.
Amongst the 108,000 square feet of gaming floor, expect to find seven different rooms, or salons, where you can play all manner of casino classics including Roulette, Baccarat, Texas Hold’em, and Craps, as well as 140 slot machines.
Fun fact: the casino is etched in folklore, due to the film and popular music hall song ‘The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’.
Cascais, Portugal – the inspiration
The Casino do Estoril may have only been opened in the 20th century, making it reasonably modern in comparison to our earlier entries. But it’s believed to be the largest casino in Europe, and it was even a location in the James Bond film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
With over 1,000 Slot machines, table game enthusiasts will relish the thrills that the likes of Blackjack, Banca Francesa, Punto Banco, and Baccarat can bring – and Poker fans can enter tournaments.
Fun fact: during World War II, the Casino do Estoril became a meeting point for spies, and ultimately, it inspired Ian Fleming’s classic novel, Casino Royale.
Macau, China – the largest
While the Casino do Estoril is reputed to be the largest casino in Europe, The Venetian Macau can trump that, as the largest casino in the world! Situated on the famous Cotai Strip, The Venetian opened in 2007 and its casino measures a whopping 546,000 square feet.
Divided into four themed gaming areas— Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix – enthusiasts can play at over 6,000 slot machines and 800 gambling tables.
Fun fact: modelled on its sister casino resort, The Venetian Las Vegas, the décor is inspired by Venice and features replicas of various Venetian landmarks, including Gondolas and the Bridge of Sighs.