Casual gamblers and high rollers alike will tell that that there is no place in the world they would more like to visit or go back to than Monaco. What is it that makes Monaco so special and why do so many people feel this city/state on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea is THE place to go when they want to gamble? Well, to keep it short and sweet, gambling has been legal in Monaco since 1854 because Prince Charles III needed to generate some wealth and the casinos here are spectacular.
The Le Grand Casino was solely responsible for Monaco’s complete economic turnaround as an entire ‘city within a city’ was built around the casino which included an opera house, the Oceanographic Museum and numerous jewelry stores. Today there are a total of five casinos in operation in Monaco and each has its own elegant and distinctive characteristics. We will review them below.
The Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo
As stated above, the Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo was opened in the mid 1800s. This spectacular casino centers on an atrium that is ringed by more than two dozen onyx columns. Inside is a total of three rooms with over 300 slot machines and 35 gaming tables. Each room is called a ‘salon’ and each offers something different from the other. The Les Super Prives is by ‘invitation only’ while the Chemin de Fer salon and the Salle des Ameriques salon is open to everyone. Inside the salons are towering ceilings, remarkable tapestries, ornate moldings and crystal chandeliers.
While you may hear tourists say that you can dress casually inside the Le Grand Casino don’t listen to them because you wouldn’t want to wear shorts and sandals inside the place that James Bond sipped his martinis at the bar. The action is fast paced and the clientele is wealthy and quite often very well-known. You could very well yourself rubbing elbows with a famous person inside this casino.
Le Casino Cafe de Paris
The Paris Casino also goes back a long way as it was built in 1854. Today it holds 1,200 slot and video poker machines and over a dozen table games. Inside this luxurious and very pretty casino are also three outstanding restaurants: Le Grill, Le Cote Jardin and Le Louis XV. The Louis XV restaurant is a 3-star Michelin rated eatery owned by world renown chef Alain Ducasse.
The wine cellars in the Paris Casino hold an astonishing half a million bottles of fine wines – some are over two hundred years old. During the second World War, the wine cellars were well protected so that German soldiers would not be able to get inside and pilfer the rare wines being held there.
Monte Carlo Bay Casino
The Monte Carlo Bay Casino is the newest casino in Monte Carlo to open. In fact, before it opened there was not a single new casino addition to Monte Carlo for seven and a half decades. The more than 140 slots games inside the Monte Carlo Bay Casino use the ticket in/ticket out (TITO) technology. The TITO machines do away with coin hoppers and instead utilize on-board barcode scanners. Many casinos in the US use TITO machines but the technology is not very widely used in Southern Europe.
Monte Carlo Sporting Club & Casino
The Monte Carlo Sporting Club & Casino is open during the summer months only – opening at the first of July and closing at the end of August. This casino has over 60 slot machines and 24 gaming tables which includes American and English Roulette, Chemin de Fer, Punto Banco, Craps, Blackjack and 30/40.
The Sun Casino is located inside the Monte Carlo Grand Hotel. Here there are 450 slot machines and 27 table games on offer. This is a very trendy casino that dishes out a whole lot of festive ambiance and which offers free admittance to anyone over the age of eighteen.
If you love to gamble and enjoy spectacular, lavish and beautiful surroundings, then you must make a trip to Monaco. The dining experiences awaiting here are world class and the gambling is full-tilt inside some of the world’s most well-known and revered casinos.