Known as the very first casino, Casino di Venezia was the beginning of casinos as we know them today. Originally owned by the government, the casino was situated at Il Ridotto, a wing at Palazzo Dandolo. While open to the public, only nobleman could afford to partake in the games held.
Casino di Venezia was closed by the government as it felt that the casino was contributing to impoverishing the nobility. Today, the casino still exists, however not in its original building. A modern and elegant Casino di Venezia was opened in the 1950s in a new location, passing on the tradition created by the original Il Ridotto.
Casino de Spa, Belgium, 1763
The Casino de Spa in Belgium was originally built in 1763. The city wanted to introduce an opulent lifestyle to the city, and attract wealthy nobility with gaming, dining and theatre. With a turbulent history, the Casino de Spa was a victim to numerous fires, the most devasting taking place in 1917.
After the fire of 1917, it took almost ten years to rebuild the Casino de Spa. A further renovation was performed in 1980, restoring the casino on its original foundations, and modernising the casino as it is today. Due to its location between Brussels, Luxembourg, Bonn and Aix-la-Chapelle, it is widely popular in that region in Europe.
Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco, 1863
When one thinks casinos, Monte Carlo comes to mind as the setting for the Bond film, Casino Royale. The Grand Casino is one of the most prestigious casinos. The idea of the casino came from Princess Charlotte, who hoped the revenues would save the Grimaldi family from their financial problems.
The casino had a long road to success, with limited access to the casino and Monte Carlo making it difficult to build and for patrons to access. However, since its opening in 1863 it has succeeded in upholding Princess Charlotte’s wishes and to this day remains one of the primary income sources for the royal Grimaldi family.
The Golden Gate Casino, Las Vegas, 1906
The Golden Gate Casino is the oldest casino in Las Vegas. After opening in 1906, and expanding within its first year, gambling was banned in Las Vegas in 1909, and the building was used primarily as a hotel. In 1931, gambling was legalized, and the building was expanded.
The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino was originally named Hotel Nevada, after that Sal Sagev (Las Vegas backwards), and later Golden Gate. The building was the home of many firsts for Las Vegas in addition to a casino – the first telephone, first hotel structure, and the first lodging establishment with plumbing.