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Grand Casino, Monaco: 17 reviews and 38 photos

  The Casino
by NiceLife

Built in 1863 as a solution to the financial problems of the Grimaldi dynasty (not yours) the Casino at Monte Carlo offers an opportunity for those with too many zeros in their bank account to shed a few. And it's that naughty little zero on the roulette wheel that makes it happen, confering a 3% advantage in favour of the house.

The public open area of Casino has been expanded recently to include several of the previously private glorious "grand salles", and is open to everyone - though you will need to be "suitably dressed" (basically meaning not beachwear.) Opening at around 14:00, in addition to the wall of slot machines, you are now able to join in the gaming activities as an ordinary visitor. Roulette - minimum stake 2 euros up to 10, and backgammon - minimum 10 euros.

You can stand and watch others losing their money, or if you prefer, throw yourself into the spirit and lose some of your own. I watched a tour coach driver ably demonstrate his prowess on the wheel of fortune, combining line splits, corners, odds and even and red or black, which succeeded in losing him twenty euros in just two spins of the wheel. But he seemed to enjoy the attention of the little old ladies watching. At another table a hardened gambler had a sizeable stack of chips, which alternately rose and fell with each play. He betrayed no emotion, win or lose, merely on to the next hand. That's proper gambling.

Entrance to the private gaming rooms - I assume for more serious games like poker - is restricted to those suitably dressed - gentlemen require jacket and tie - and there is a 10 euro entry charge. The minimum value of chips climbs to James Bond levels. Real gambers don't like to be watched losing money by hordes of tourists.

Good news for those who think they can handle more than one vice at a time. You can now enjoy smoking whilst losing money gambling, and enjoy a sea view. The Casino d'ete Sporting has installed roulette, punto banco and blackjack tables on its Palm Terrace. The Casino of the Cafe de Paris has had slot machines in the open air since April last, and the grand Casino its self is installing outdoor terrace tables.

Strolling from the gaming rooms there is a very classy bar with views out to sea, and the bar tarrif is similar to that of the Cafe de Paris ie ruinous.

The darker history of the casino is altogether more interesting. Back in the late 19th century gambling was illegal in many states of Europe, and those with fortunes attracted to the vice made their way to Monaco. More of its notorious history, and the ruin of many fortunes, continues here Les Suicides

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 11, 2013
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