The oldest casinos in the world are glamorous and grand, and they have been making winners of players for centuries. They are home to the most iconic pokies and other games, and they offer the atmosphere to match the thrills. It is easy to see why players still flock to these stately establishments. Apart from being historical landmarks that have colourful histories, they still offer fantastic opportunities to win.
Take a tour of the oldest casinos with us and get to know the gambling establishments that have stood the test of time!
1. Casino di Venezia – 1638
Founded in Venice, Italy, in 1638, the Casino di Venezia was known as Ca’ Vendramin Calergi. After the first gaming venue was closed, Italian royals used the magnificent building as their Venetian accommodation. When the royal family moved on, composer Richard Wagner took up occupation.
In 1946, it was bought by the City of Venice, and was re-opened as a casino in 1959. The Casino di Venezia now offers more than 600 slots, as well as table games such as Roulette, Blackjack and Roulette. It also hosts World Poker Tour events. Formally dressed dealers are ready to welcome players who arrived at the venue via a boat shuttle. In addition to the gaming floor at the 381-year-old venue, you can enjoy the Wagner museum and a garden with a view of the Grand Canal.
2. Casino de Spa – 1763
Established in 1763, the Casino de Spa is the world’s second-oldest real-money gaming venue. It is located in the Belgian town of Spa, which is the site of famous springs said to have healing properties.
The town became a popular destination for tourists who wanted to ‘take the cure’, and the casino was opened to provide them with amusement in between treatments. The venue suffered a major fire in 1918, and it had to be rebuilt. The Circus Casino Spa Group then acquired it in the early 2000s. If you are lucky enough to find yourself wandering onto the gaming floor, you will find more than 150 slots, as well as tables that offer Roulette, Blackjack, Poker and other games. The 256-year-old casino oozes old world charm, and it offers an exceptional view of the city from the terrace.
3. The Kurhaus of Baden-Baden – 1834
The Kurhaus of Baden-Baden, Germany is not only one of the oldest casinos in the world; it is also one of the most beautiful. The building was constructed in 1824, but it was not until 1834 that the gaming venue opened.
The Kurhaus became one of the most popular gaming venues in Europe when France banned gambling in the 1830s, and it enjoyed the patronage of players from various countries. Among the most famous to pass through its doors were the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the German actress Marlene Dietrich. It must have left quite an impression on Dostoevsky, because he wrote his novel the Gambler after his visit. The experience of playing slots, cards or table games beneath the 185-year-old casino’s sparkling chandeliers and in view of amazing hand-painted murals is one you will not forget.
4. Casino de Monte Carlo – 1856
The Casino de Monte Carlo welcomed its first players in 1856. It is possibly the most famous casino on the planet, and its name has become synonymous with the glamour of gambling.
Located in Monaco, the complex also includes the Les Ballets de Monte Carlo offices and the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo. The 136-year-old casino was originally the idea of Princess Caroline, the wife of Prince Florestan I, who wanted to help save her family, the ruling Grimaldis, from bankruptcy. The Casino de Monte Carlo is now owned by Société des bains de mer de Monaco. It is a public company, the majority of which is held by the royal family. A playground of the rich, famous and frivolous, the casino offers Baccarat, Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, Craps, slots and more, and houses several extremely luxurious private gaming rooms too.
5. Golden Gate Casino – 1906
On 3 January 1906, the Hotel Nevada and Casino opened on the corner of Main and Fremont streets, Las Vegas. The man behind the project was John F. Miller, who arrived in what was to become Sin City in 1905, and bought the corner plot of land for $1,750.
The casino continued to attract players until the 1909 state-wide gambling ban. It received a new lease on life in 1931 when gambling was legalised in Nevada once again. The building was expanded and renamed Sal Sagev that year. In 1955 the casino was renamed as the Golden Gate, and the new name was extended to the rest of the property in 1974. In addition to a gaming floor that still features all manner of classic, retro and contemporary games, the 113-year-old venue became particularly famous for its unbelievably cheap shrimp cocktail!