Few locations, save for the Princes Palace itself, encapsulate the glamour and luxury of Monaco better than the Casino de Monte Carlo. Dominating the Place du Casino, from its breathtaking gardens to its stunning entertainment, gambling and dining facilities, the Casino de Monte Carlo embodies all that Monte Carlo is associated with.
Le Casino de Monte Carlo was designed by famous architect Charles Garnier. Garnier’s other work includes the famous Paris Opera, and the casino was designed in the same fine arts style
In a bid to avoid the failings of Monaco’s earlier casinos, the ruling Grimaldi family recruited Francois Blanc to run it. Blanc already had considerable experience as a successful casino operator in Bad Homburg, and was eventually persuaded to come to Monaco to set up a similar operation in Monaco.
Under the guidance of Blanc and the Societe des Bains de Mer, the new casino opened its doors in 1863, and success wasn’t far behind. This was especially true once Monaco’s road and rail infrastructure had been improved, and luxury hotels had been established. This enabled Europe’s upper-class elite to not just travel to Monaco with ease, but also to relax in absolute comfort once they’d arrived.
Le Casino de Monte Carlo was also one of the first casinos to understand the need to embrace other forms of entertainment. Its lavish gardens have been famous for many generations, and in 1910, a theatre was added.
Le Casino de Monte Carlo has played a pivotal role in establishing Monte Carlo’s long-held reputation as Europe’s premier gambling resort – the playground of the rich – and driving its economy forward. Up until recently, the casino was the biggest single source of income for the Grimaldi family.
The casino offers the following casino games:
The casino is split into different salons, each catering for a different type of game. n the Salon Europe, you’ll find roulette, baccarat, trente & quarante and poker. The Salle des Ameriques offers blackjack, while the Atrium and Salle Blanche offer slots.
In summer 2011, the casino opened its much vaunted Terrace. This, almost uniquely, allows players to play all the casino’s table games outside. And with spectacular views of the Mediterranean on offer, it certainly beats staring at a casino wall!
These include the Empire Gallery, The Renaissance salon, the Atrium, the white room, the Hall of the Americas and the Cabaret. Nor are these rooms simply exhibits – most of them are still being used either for entertainment, dining or gambling. Meaning that no matter what you’re undertaking, you’ll always find yourself in stunning surroundings.
One thing the casino does not offer itself is its own hotel facilities. However, on la Place du Casino you will also find the stunning Hotel de Paris. Not only is it location perfect, it also knows how to look after its guest. The hotel features:
Being at the heart of Monte Carlo also ensures le Casino de Monte Carlo is right at the centre of Monaco’s glistening nightlife. As well as being close to the Monaco Opera, the casino has hosted some of Monaco’s most prestigious events, such the Monte Carlo Jazz Festival and the Monte Carlo Sporting Summer Festival.
A new risqué, but nevertheless tasteful, burlesque show has also been added to the casino’s entertainment line up recently.
Its central location on la Place du Casino ensures it is – quite literally – at the heart of Monaco’s most famous sporting event, the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix.
The first famous case came in 1873. British engineer Joseph Jagger hired six clerks to monitor outcome of some of the casino’s six roulette wheels. It was soon noted that one table showed a clear bias to several numbers.
Armed with this knowledge, Jagger then started gambling at this table, racking up huge wins over the coming days. When other gamblers did the same, the casino soon wised up to the trick. At first, it rearranged the tables, then modified the wheel. Jagger’s winning streak promptly came to an end. However, he left with around 2 million Francs – over $5 million in today’s money.
According to the book “Busting Vegas” by Ben Mezrich, a team of blackjack players from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, led by Victor Cassius, tried to break the bBank at Monte Carlo using a system based on team work. The book describes how the management of Le Casino Monte Carlo responded to the team's success.
For further information, including how to book your visit there, please visit the Casino de Monte Carlo official website.