We don’t know about you, but the effect of coronavirus-enforced lockdown has got many of us at Luxury Lifestyle Magazine hankering for the glitz and glamour of a night out at the casino.
Perhaps that urge is so strong because, in many ways, an evening at the roulette wheel epitomises everything currently unavailable to us: a social occasion; a reason to spruce up; the risk of the roulette wheel; the reward of a high-stakes win; not to mention the food, drink, socialising and entertainment.
For now, thrill-seeking consumers are having to go online to satisfy their gaming urges, with many utilising offers like the Betfair casino promo code as the next best thing to sitting at the blackjack table.
One thing is for sure, when it is safe for restrictions to be lifted and the slot machines to fire up again, many will want to mark the occasion with a special trip.
With that in mind, we have identified the five oldest gaming houses in the world to help you plan a gaming vacation steeped in history.
5. The Golden Gate Casino, Las Vegas
The oldest still operational gaming house in the famous Nevada gambling destination is the Golden Gate Casino, which opened in 1906. It was originally called the Hotel Nevada.
Of course, as we covered in our article on the history of Las Vegas, the road to global gambling dominance was a rocky one for Sin City, with gambling outlawed shortly after Hotel Nevada’s opening, in 1909.
In the meantime, the hotel hosted the few games it could get away with – small stakes games and non-cash tournaments. In 1931, when gambling was once again made legal in the state of Nevada, the hotel rebranded as Sal Sagev Casino (that’s Las Vegas, backwards). The name did not stick, and it became the Golden Gate Casino in 1955.
The casino, located on Fremont Street, was renovated as recently as 2017, and is still a popular destination.
4. Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco
Another famous gambling destination, the principality of Monaco’s oldest casino was opened in 1856, when Princess Caroline of the House Grimaldi allegedly came up with the idea in order for the state to avoid going bankrupt.
The casino, which moved to new grounds in 1863, plays host to some of Europe’s most eligible and affluent gamers, and has also provided the setting and inspiration for a number of blockbuster Hollywood movies, including Ocean’s Twelve, and the James Bond movies GoldenEye and Casino Royale.
The casino was one of the very first to set the trend of incorporating live entertainment and fine dining, now commonplace in the industry, into its offering.
3. Kurhaus Casino of Baden-Baden, Germany
Perhaps not as well-known as its Monte Carlo neighbour, but the Kurhaus Casino in the Baden-Baden region of Germany has heritage stretching back further than the principality, designed in the mid-1820s.
Located on the outskirts of the Black Forest, near the German border with France, the Casino generated an international reputation in the 1830s, thanks, in no small part, to the French ban on gambling.
The Casino is still open to this day and offers a truly unique gaming experience. The striking columns and neo-classical design of Friedrich Weinbrinner is iconic and is lauded in architectural circles.
2. Casino de Spa, Belgium
Originally built in 1763, the Casino de Spa holds arguably the most tenuous claim to being on this list – but not through fault of its own.
The Belgian resort was all-but destroyed in the First World War, with the majority of its external walls damaged beyond repair due to a fire. The venue was rebuilt in 1918, before undergoing a complete renovation in the 1980s.
The modern casino offers all amenities associated with contemporary gaming houses, and is also located just a 20-minute drive away from the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which hosts the annual Formula One race.
1. Casino di Venezia, Italy
Built in 1638, the Casino di Venezia claims the crown as the oldest active casino on the planet. The renaissance style architecture stands proudly on the Grand Canal in picturesque Venice, and is best approached by gondola or water taxi.
Initially known as the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, the palace used to serve as a home from home for many of Europe’s elite. In 1946, the city of Venice purchased the land, before renovating and reopening the casino a decade later.
Nowadays, the stunning architecture is blended seamlessly with modern gaming amenities to create a truly memorable casino experience.
Image credit at the very top of the article: elenathewise/Bigstock.com
Please gamble responsibly (18+ UK) – check age restrictions before participating