Playing with History: The Five Oldest Casinos of the World

This might come as a surprise to some, but it’s a fact: the oldest casinos in the world are in Europe. All of them. The concept of the casino – as in a location dedicated to gambling – has been first coined in Italy, where small villas – casinos – were used for gambling (among others) by the high society. The word “casino” has slowly become synonymous with gambling. In Europe it is a traditional pastime, and its policy makers view it much more liberally than in other parts of the world.

The fact that Europeans are free to play casino games online – online slots and online blackjack are popular in most parts of the continent – might be the reason why Europe has no such resorts to match those from the US and China. European laws allow any player of legal age to register an account at the All Slots, make a real money deposit and play. And they can play at the All Slots from home if they like, or play wherever they are using their smartphones. And the All Slots gives them reasons and incentives to play – generous bonuses, amazing specials and a wonderful collection of casino games.

The oldest gambling establishment still functioning in Europe is in Italy. Built as a residence for a local noble family, the Casinò di Venezia serves as a gambling house since 1638. It is a mix of modern gambling technology and history – players have the chance to try their luck on video slots and other gaming terminals (along with traditional gaming tables) among paintings, chandeliers and murals by the famous Baroque master Mattia Bortoloni.

Casinò di Venezia

Casinò di Venezia

While not as old as the Casinò di Venezia, the Baden Baden casino is also among the oldest, and is considered the most beautiful one of the world. Part of the Baden Baden Kurhaus, a spa resort on the outskirts of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), the Kurhaus Casino has not only some of the most luxurious gaming rooms, but wonderful banquet halls and beautiful gardens as well.

But the title of the “Most beautiful spa” goes to another historical German casino resort, the Wiesbaden Kurhaus. Built in 1810, the Kurhaus of Wiesbaden has a beautiful spa, a theater, restaurants and conference rooms, behind a facade featuring Corinthian columns and griffins, while the interior of the casino is covered in cherry woodwork, mosaic medallions, Greek statues and wonderful chandeliers. Kaiser Wilhelm II, a frequent visitor of Wiesbaden, called it the “most beautiful spa building in the world”.

Wiesbaden Kurhaus

Wiesbaden Kurhaus

London’s Crockfords Club is the casino with the richest heritage. One of the oldest private clubs in London, the Crockfords was built in 1826 as a place for elite British gentlemen. The club still operates today, offering exclusive, members only services to its visitors. It is the most exclusive gambling venue of the world, mixing modern gambling technology with a traditional setting.

And last, but not least, let’s mention the most famous casino of the world, Casino de Monte Carlo. Built in 1856, it has inspired Ian Fleming’s Royale-les-Eaux casino in his first James Bond novel, and was also featured in the movie version of the book. An interesting fact about the establishment is that it’s forbidden to be visited by any locals – the casino’s security service checks the IDs of any visitors at the entrance.

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Images credit (under CC) by order:  Rodrigo SoldonStadtlichtpunkteDennis Jarvis

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