Tag Archives: Casinos

The World’s Oldest Casinos

O Golden Gate Casino em Las Vegas
The Casino di Venezia
Source: Wikimedia

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!

The Casino di Venezia
Source: Wikimedia

Five Casinos On My Bucket List

As you get older you start doing bizarre things, like making bucket lists. Gosh, you think to yourself, I technically only have about forty years of life left, And, if we’re being honest, I spent the first twenty either crawling around making baby noises, or otherwise just being a hormonal teenager. Point being, I better start getting busy living, and taking advantage of these remaining years.

So I recently made a bucket list of casinos I’d like to visit. Will I ever get round to visiting all of them? Perhaps not. But, it certainly doesn’t hurt to at least read about them, and give me a reason to one day sell everything, or bet it all on black and set off on a casino exploring adventure. And since it would be a midlife crisis, I guess I’d also have to buy a sports car, and find a woman half my age that won’t run off with my money the first chance she gets.

Here are five of some of the strangest casinos you can find around the world, and the one’s I’d really like to visit…

Desert Cave Hotel And Casino

Desert Cave Hotel And Casino
Source: Absurdity is Nothing

The Desert Cave Hotel And Casino can be found in Australia. What makes it unusual? Very simply because most other casinos like to be as much above ground as possible. Which is to say, they like to be above ground, in the form of great big impressive spires and architecture, much of which will sparkle in the sun and otherwise be amazing. The makers of the Desert Cave said nonsense to all that jazz, and decided instead to make the whole thing underground. And, naturally, in the middle of the desert as well.

The theme of the Desert Cave, in all seriousness, is being a great big cave. The walls are all rock, and the interior decor is cleverly designed to appear as if guests are rooting around in an underground paradise. It’s all rather amazing to behold, especially since the parts that are above ground, the entrance, hide the true extent of the casino.

The Revel

The Revel
Source: PlayingLegal.com

I’d like to visit this casino, but for reasons other than it being an amazing gaming experience. Instead, I’d like to visit The Revel because it is currently a completely abandoned ghost town. And that, call me weird, sounds truly fascinating. Tell me there isn’t something discomforting about largely deserted luxury locations?

The Revel went belly up soon after opening in Atlantic City. It was then sold, but has since sat completely abandoned. No one really knows if the enormous, still mostly glamorous property is going to transform, or reopen, which makes the whole situation all the creepier. Call my desire to visit The Revel more for the purpose of being freaked out than anything else.

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Source: Caesars Entertainment

Bally’s in Las Vegas has one of the most long running bizarre reputations of any casino in the world. A fire gutted in the establishment back in the 80s, killing 87 people. And yes, of course, the place now has a reputation for being haunted. If you’re seeing a trend here; yes I like creepy places. Bally’s has more or less been drowning in ghostly reports since it got rebuilt shortly after the fire, and I, for one, love a good ghost hunt.

I’m well aware of the fact that the reports are all probably nonsense, but can’t help but hold onto a shred of belief that ghost’s might really exist. If anything, maybe I’ll be lucky and think I see a ghost in the reflection of a window or something, and at least have the joy having my pants scared off.

Rivers Casino

Rivers Casino
Source: Comfort Inn O’Hare

This is a casino that speaks to the true, undeniable ingenuity of humans. The casino is located in Illinois, and your first reaction might be; but isn’t gambling outlawed in Illinois? Why yes, it certainly is, and this is exactly why this casino is one of the most brilliant I’ve ever heard of. Gambling is legal in Illinois, but only on water. Or, on riverboats, to be more specific.

So the Rivers Casino is constructed on a small, underground body of water. You’d think authorities might snort at the cheap trick, but apparently the casino got away with it, and is still in business. So sneaky, ad so, so cool.

Casino Lounge Jet

Casino Lounge Jet
Source: Robb Report

And finally, my most favoured on this list; the Casino Lounge Jet. The name probably says it all; it’s a casino in the sky. Yes, other heathens fly on planes that don’t have casinos, but those on the Casino Lounge Jet never heard of such nonsense. Spend the hours playing a bit of roulette, or spinning the reels, and before you know it you’re at your detonation.

Word is that the idea is spreading, and more commercial planes are adopting the idea. But I’ll believe it when I see it. Those slot games must take up a great deal of space.

Finding Love Playing Online Casino Games?

Finding Love Playing Online Casino Games?
Source: VideoBlocks

Dating in your thirties is no walk in the park. Just ask what’s her face in that show, the name of which I forget. Or, just about any TV show these days, given that there will almost inevitably be the “dating in his/her thirties” character. Or, you could just ask me. Yes, I have been afflicted by the terrible reality of dating in my thirties, and oh the stories of woe, sadness and embarrassment I could tell you. On the plus side, I could probably star in a TV show, even if just as a compulsory side character, or that strange guy who loves gambling and spends the other half of his life swiping right on Tinder.

The trick of dating in your thirties is that it is a constant struggle to understand where you are supposed to find compatible mates. And if the fact that I just used the term “mates” doesn’t put the whole dilemma in perspective for you, nothing will.

But I digress. Finding people to date is half the challenge, and one starts inevitably looking for potential dating companions in the strangest of places. Yes, there are various dating websites and applications, but the urge strikes at the oddest of times, leading to a person looking for a potential date, for example, in online casino games.

Are You Looking For Me?

Not so long ago I faced off against various random strangers in an online poker game. Most of the profile pictures were the usual mess of nonsense, memes, and goofy photos, but one stood apart. It was an attractive woman, smiling broadly, begging the world to take notice of her. Dating in your thirties 101; if a lady looks like she is demanding attention, she probably is. That may sound a bit simplistic to you, but trust me it’s true probably 80% of the time.

So, being the suave individual that I am, I decided that perhaps I would attempt conversation with the attractive lady. And, who knew, maybe a beautiful romance would flourish. So, after a few tentative hellos in the text window, the lady and me got talking. Soon we were chatting like long time friends, and how delighted I was that I had managed to find a potential date in an unusual place.

Soon after the attractive lady fleeced me, took all my money, and left the table without a word. Dating in your thirties 101 revised; in online poker games, ladies begging for attention are most likely just after your money. Didn’t I feel foolish?

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Online Social Worlds

Is online poker a good place to find a date? Of course not, you great big lovable goof, it’s a good place to hone your poker playing skills. One can’t hope to meet people that are open and honest in an online game based around winning money. Which is not to say it isn’t possible, just that it shouldn’t be a first choice to start looking.

But, there are other casino games that are far more focused on being social, if we’re taking the concept of “love in an online casino game” seriously. Bingo, for example, is a game that doesn’t require anyone to be screwing anyone else over. Most people are there to chat, so, I guess your chances might be a bit better? Only old ladies play bingo? Oh, hush your mouth and stop believing stereotypes. The average age of an online casino player is, in fact, late thirties early forties.

Does mean I think bingo is a good place to find love I the online world? Well, as far as casino games are concerned, I certainly think it’s your best bet. But again, why wouldn’t you just join a dating website, where dating is specifically what people are after?

Seriously, For A Second

To be serious for a second, dating in ones thirties really is a difficult, and often demotivating business. Some of my friends are already on their second marriage, which is good progress as far as finding a partner is concerned in the world of today. I haven’t been married even once, sad face, which means I have a lot of catching up to do. Maybe I can divorce my first wife quick, and get the ball rolling for true happiness with my second, or third wife.

I’m not one to believe in things like one true partner for everyone, because that sounds like so much demented early Disney movie logic to me. What I do think, though, is that you have to find someone with similar mental quirks to yourself, and where they might be located really is one of the mysteries of the universe. At a digital poker table? Perhaps. But I think you’re just hedging your bets by looking in logical places, as opposed to fishing for sharks in a fresh water pond, if you see what I’m saying.

Mark Armstrong