Tag Archives: gambling

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

The World’s 6 Biggest Gaming Wins

Ganhando na conquista de fichas
Cashing in winning Chips
Source: Pixabay

There is more to the stories of the biggest gambling wins in the world than the amount of money won by those lucky players and punters. They also provide fodder for daydreams, inspire us to keep playing the games we love, and make us gasp with surprise, wonder, and, occasionally, horror.

The following stories about 6 incredibly lucky players might get you making a few imaginary shopping lists. They may even offer you some food for thought while doing so.

Now, without any further ado, let’s take a look at who won what.

£1.45 Million Accumulator Win

One of the biggest sports betting wins the world has ever seen happened in March 2011. Steve Whiteley, a plumbing engineer based in Devon, the United Kingdom, placed a £2 accumulator bet on 6 horses to win a selection of races at tracks in the UK and Ireland listed on the Exeter Tote Jackpot.

His selection of Semicolon, Black Phantom, Ammunition, Mr Bennett, Lundy Sky, and Lupita, turned out to be one of the best decisions he ever made. Every single one of them won their respective race, which meant Whiteley won a fantastic £1.45 million.

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$4.6 Million and $21 Million

76-year-old World War II veteran Elmer Sherwin was one of the many players who streamed into Las Vegas’ Mirage Casino on 22 November 1989, the day it first opened its doors. He was one of the players who enjoyed a few spins on the Megabucks machine, which was the first progressive slot in the world.

Unlike those other players, however, Sherwin won the $4.6-million jackpot. He used his huge payout to travel around the world. Later, in September 2005, the then-92-year-old played Megabucks at Vegas’ Cannery Casino and Hotel, and won a jackpot of $21,147,947.

This time, he put the money to very different uses. He kept some to help support his son and daughter-in-law, and then donated a large portion to the relief fund set up after Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of Florida and Louisiana.

As Much As $40 Million

In 1997, billionaire Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer visited Las Vegas, where he indulged in Blackjack and Baccarat games at the MGM Grand Casino. According to reports, he won the equivalent of AU$33 million.

Packer was also said to have been a regular big winner when he played at casinos when he visited the UK for an annual holiday. He went on to lose the equivalent of a whopping AU$28 million in a 3-week losing streak at a casino in London.

$34.9 Million

In 2000, cocktail waitress Cynthia Jay Brennan experienced a fairy tale moment. While celebrating her future mother-in-law’s birthday in Las Vegas, she decided to spin a few slot reels.

We can only imagine what the birthday girl must have thought when Cynthia won an unbelievable $34,959,458.56. For the following 9 weeks, her life was a magical one. She married her fiancé, spoiled herself with a new Camaro, among other purchases, and started making travel plans – and then tragedy struck. While driving with her sister Lela, a drunk driver, who had been arrested 16 times previously, collided with her vehicle at a red traffic light. The drunk driver sustained a few slight injuries, but Lela died on impact, and Cynthia’s spine was shattered, which left her paralysed from the waist down.

$39.7 Million

In 2003, an anonymous 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles on a visit to family in Las Vegas. After his uncle told him about some of the massive jackpots up for grabs, he decided to give slot reels a spin.

In an interview at the time, the man said he had bet $100 on the machine. He was distracted for a moment, but his attention quickly reverted to the machine when it announced he had just won a phenomenal $39,713,982.25 jackpot. He opted to have his lucky win paid in annual $1.5 million-instalments for 25 years.

$590.5 Million

May 2013 was a good month for Florida grandmother Gloria McKenzie. It began when a kind shopper in front of her in a queue at her local supermarket in Zephyrhills let McKenzie go first.

She bought a Powerball Lottery ticket, and probably did not think much more of it until the draw. The moment in the supermarket must have taken on an entirely new significance, because McKenzie’s numbers turned out to be lucky enough to make her that lottery’s largest single winner. She won a jaw-dropping $590.5 million. According to reports, the 84-year-old asked for a lump sum of half the prize, which made more sense than being paid the full amount in instalments over 30 years.

These stories prove that you never know when or where your luck is going to come through. They also are good lessons to appreciate the good moments for what they are, when they happen.