Today land-based casinos may seem like a relic of the past. However, you may find some gambling venues founded in the 20th, 19th, 18th, and even 17th centuries still working and offering unforgettable emotions to those who are used to gambling in the comfort of their home.
Now, most thrill-seeking players gamble online as there are a variety of free pokies, availability of real money slots, and generous bonuses. But when it comes to the unique atmosphere: cool cocktails, live dealers, and classic slot machines, land-based casinos have no equal.
Coronavirus restrictions bankrupted even the wealthiest casinos, but now they are rising from the ashes like a phoenix.
One thing is for sure: when the lockdown restrictions will be lifted, and slot machines will fire up again, most gamblers will have an idea to visit the oldest brick-and-mortar casinos in the world.
With that in mind, we have listed the five most famous gambling venues you will probably want to see firsthand.
The Golden Gate Casino, Las Vegas
The Golden Gate Casino and Hotel is located in Las Vegas, the USA. It is the oldest still operational gambling establishment opened in 1906. This place was originally called “the Hotel Nevada”. The casino was operating till 1909, until gambling was outlawed shortly.
In 1931, the property was renamed Sal Sagev, but the name has not stuck, and the place became “The Golden Gate Casino” in 1955.
The casino houses several games — small-stakes games and tournaments. Later, gamblers could play traditional craps, roulette, blackjack, and even newer table games like 3-card poker and Let It Ride.
There is an interesting fact about the Golden Gate Casino and Hotel: it was the first place to serve shrimp cocktails back in 1959. This idea came from the owner — Italo Ghelfi.
The original shrimp cocktail includes a sundae glass with a small shrimp inside and a dollop of cocktail sauce on top.
Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco
This gambling venue, known as the location for several James Bond movies, is located in the heart of Monaco. It was opened in 1865. The Casino de Monte Carlo belongs to a public company in which the government and royal family have considerable interest.
What’s surprising is that the citizens of the Principality are not allowed to enter the gaming rooms. The royal family doesn’t want them to gamble away their money. Plus, locals are also banned from gambling there due to moral reasons.
The Casino de Monte Carlo offers a variety of games to players: different types of roulette, blackjack, craps, baccarat, video poker, stud poker, and, of course, slot machines.
This casino was the first one to incorporate casino games and fine dining. The gambling venue even offers a gift card valid for one year that can be used multiple times and welcomes players to visit restaurants, bars, spas, hotels, water sports, and shops.
Casino de Spa, Belgium
If you want to see one of the oldest casinos in the world, visit the Casino de Spa. Built in 1763, it still welcomes gamblers all over the world. Inside, you will find different table games (roulettes, blackjack, Texas Hold’em, poker) and slot machines.
Originally, it was the place for people searching for health-giving waters in Belgium. The building of the modern Casino de Spa was constructed for the local aristocracy who could afford a visit to this place.
The concept of this place was unique: the owners — Xhrouet Lambert and Gérard de Leau wanted to provide a gaming hall, ballrooms, and theatres. There is also a luxurious restaurant with a big terrace with a panoramic view of the city.
Today, it is a place open to all comers. The entrance is free. The only condition is you have to be at least 21 to get in.
It has a convenient location — a 20-minute drive away from the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, where the annual Formula One race is held.
Kurhaus Casino of Baden-Baden, Germany
The Kurhaus is a complex consisting of a casino, spa resort, and conference hall in Baden-Baden, Germany. The place is not as famous as Monte Carlo, but the Kurhaus casino has a heritage stretching back two hundred years (its main structure was built in 1824).
The casino has built a solid reputation by offering a unique gambling experience. In the 1830s, gambling was forbidden in France, and the Kurhaus casino welcomed gamblers from a neighbouring country to enjoy classic table games and slot machines. You may not know, but an outstanding Russian novelist wrote his famous short novel — the Gambler, inspired by his visit to the Kurhaus casino.
Now, there are more than 150 pokies and different types of table games at the casino. The most popular ones are French and American Roulette, poker, blackjack, and punto banco.
Casinò di Venezia, Italy
Built in 1638, the Casino di Venezia is the oldest gambling venue in the world active today. The gambling establishment is located on the Grand Canal in Venice. It is best approached by water transport like a gondola or water taxi.
Known as the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, the place served as a home for the European aristocracy. Finally, in 1946, the city purchased this land to reopen the casino a decade later.
Today, gamblers all over the world can visit this beautiful palace with stunning architecture and enjoy classic table games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and poker.