First Casino

First Casino in the World – Where, When and by Whom- A History of Casinos

Casinos have long been magnets for glamor, glamour, and money. But today’s dazzling lights and lively buzz are a far cry from the old-world refinement conventional venues exuded when classic Hollywood movie stars frequented the tables.

This made us consider the oldest casinos in the world and what they have to offer today. Enjoy a seat and take a tour of these grand ancient buildings that formerly served as gaming centers…

Casino di Venezia (1638)

The world’s oldest casino, the Casino di Venezia, is located on the Grand Canal in Venice. It was originally the Theatre Saint-Moses, which opened in 1638 and had a section for gambling during interludes. It contributed to the beginning of the casino frenzy in Venice; in 1744, there were over 120 casinos.

This Renaissance mansion was constructed in the 15th century by Italian architect Mauro Codussi, who also created some of Venice’s most stunning churches. Andrea Loredan, an Italian nobleman and art collector, paid for it. Italian masters like Matteo Bortoloni, Palma il Giovane, and Gian Battista Crosato painted frescoes on the ceiling and paintings on the walls, many of which are still there today.

The casino’s original name was Ca’ Vendramin Calergi; following its early days as a casino; it served as death for Italian nobility before becoming a favorite retreat for German musician Richard Wagner between 1858 and 1883. The city of Venice purchased the structure in 1946, rebuilt it, and officially opened it as a casino in 1959. There are hundreds of ways to gamble today, including blackjack, roulette, and poker, all hosted by dealers in tuxedos, 600 slot machines, and continuing tournaments for professionals, such as the World Poker Tour.

A complimentary boat shuttle service transports customers to the casino’s French-style entrance. The property has a restaurant named The Wagner, which serves traditional Italian cuisine in homage to the composer; a private garden overlooking the Grand Canal; and the Wagner Museum, which opened in 1995 and chronicled the creative life of the artist who resided here.

Claire Danes and Coolio are among the celebrities who have partied at this casino, which originated as a gathering place for actors. It has been utilized for Hollywood film sets and Venice Film Festival events and was essential to the production of the film Casino Royale. Indeed, like a scene from a James Bond movie, this darkly illuminated establishment is a masterpiece of old-school Italian design, with felt ropes for handrails on its staircase, crystal chandeliers, and ancient mirrors crafted by Murano glassmakers. Ruman Capote said of this historic city, “Venice is like consuming a whole box of chocolate liqueurs all at once.”

With its entrance on the Grand Canal and historic Venetian architecture, it is easy to imagine the Venetian aristocracy floating up and having aperitifs here while they socialized and gambled since much of the opulent decor is reminiscent of bygone times.

Today, Casino di Venezia offers guests the opportunity to experience the high life for an evening or two by dressing to the nines, playing traditional games like blackjack, roulette, and poker, and dining in style.

However, it is also home to over 600 slot machines, which these ancient Italian celebrities had never encountered.

Did You Know? Richard Wagner died of a sudden heart attack at the Casin di Venezia at the age of 69. From 1858 until his death in 1883, the German composer made six times to Venice. In addition to its gaming room, the Casin di Venezia houses the Wagner Museum (Museo Wagner), which houses one of the biggest collections of Wagner’s works, as well as records, signed letters, and other relics.

Other Among the Oldest Casinos

Casino de Monte Carlo (1863)

When it was founded in 1863 under a previous name, the Casino de Monte-Carlo was one of the oldest and largest casinos in Europe.

It was renamed in 1866 in honor of Prince Charles III, who supervised the creation of the casino – “Monte Carlo” in Ligurian means “Mount Charles.”

The casino was prominently featured in the Casino Royale and Goldeneye films starring James Bond. Possibly surprising considering its location, history, and pedigree, the casino’s grand rooms, and gardens continue to attract the affluent and famous.

In addition to the luxury automobiles, there are private bars, opulent music halls, a theatre, and pricey restaurants, making it a gastronomic and cultural destination where you can experience opera and ballet.

What is the front view with the water feature? Nothing short of extravagant. The casino was one of the first to incorporate live entertainment and gourmet dining into its offerings, which are now standard in the business.

Have You Heard? Casinos are off-limits to inhabitants of Monaco. The casinos execute this regulation by requiring entrance applicants to present identification.

Casino Baden-Baden (1820s)

The oldest casino in Germany may be found in the attractive and historic spa town of Baden-Baden.

This allows you to visualize the sort of patrons that frequented the casino in the 1820s or 1930s when it was initially built.

The open-to-the-public casino still has neoclassical architecture and grand, sumptuous decor, and it is located in the magnificent Kurhaus, today’s great social hub that hosts events, conferences, and a spa.

Its origins may extend back to the Roman Empire, giving it significant historical weight.

It presently mixes opulent design and chandeliers with modern innovations like slot machines to channel this energy. The casino is still operational and provides a very exceptional gaming experience. Friedrich Weinbrinner’s stunning columns and neoclassical style are revered in the architectural community.

Have You Heard? The Kurhaus Casino Baden-Baden has welcomed several notable guests, including President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The Crockford Club (1823)

The United Kingdom, or London, could never be far behind in terms of historic casinos.

Having opened in 1823 as a gentleman’s club, Crockford’s Club claims claim to be one of the oldest.

Long a members-only club, Crockford’s is thought to have attracted political heavyweights and decision-makers rather than the glitterati.

It closed and reopened many times between 1823, 1845, and 1970 due to its tumultuous history, until ultimately closing its doors for good in 1970.

The name, though, lives on in a neighboring opulent casino, which has no genuine relation to the original.

Have You Heard? Prior to the casino of casinos, the British frequently wagered on the outcome of jousting competitions, dice games, and coin-tossing games.

The Golden Gate Las Vegas Casino

The Golden Gate Casino, which opened in 1906 and is still in business, is the oldest gaming establishment in the renowned gambling destination of Nevada. It was once known as the Hotel Nevada.

As we discussed in our essay on the history of Las Vegas, Sin City’s path to worldwide gambling domination was bumpy, as gambling was forbidden immediately after Hotel Nevada’s inauguration in 1909.

In the meanwhile, the hotel hosted the few games it could legally host: low-stakes games and tournaments without cash prizes. When Nevada legalized gambling again in 1931, the hotel changed its name to Sal Sagev Casino (Las Vegas spelled backward). The name did not survive, and in 1955 it was renamed the Golden Gate Casino.

The Fremont Street casino was rebuilt as recently as 2017 and remains a popular location.

Have You Heard? Las Vegas, whose name translates to “The Meadows” in Spanish, was named by merchants who utilized the region as a watering stop along the trade route between Mexico and Los Angeles, California.

The world’s oldest casinos provide the thrill of playing casino games with lengthy and rich histories, regardless of whether you’re interested in the latest slot machine technology or vintage casino favorites.

Casino de Spa, Belgium

The Casino de Spa, which was constructed in 1763, has possibly the weakest claim to inclusion on our list, but not through any fault of its own.

During the First World War, the bulk of the outside walls of the Belgian resort was irreparably damaged by a fire. The arena was reconstructed in 1918 and completely renovated in the 1980s.

The modern casino features all of the conveniences associated with modern gaming establishments and is situated just 20 minutes from the historic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which holds the annual Formula One event.

Kurhaus Casino Wiesbaden

In Southern Germany, not far from Baden-Baden, is Wiesbaden, a spa town that has been a tourist destination since the Roman Empire. In the heart of the city is the Kurhaus Casino Wiesbaden, which dates back to 1810 and is 200 years old.

In front of the casino is a grand colonnade with Corinthian columns and legendary griffins that overlooks a grass-covered area with two fountains. In addition to the casino, the Kurhaus Wiesbaden houses a spa, theater, restaurants, performance spaces, banquet rooms, and a 3,000-pipe organ. Kaiser Wilhelm II, who visited the Kurhaus Wiesbaden annually, described it as “the most magnificent spa house in the world.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a great composer, also admired the casino.

The gaming rooms at the Kurhaus Casino Wiesbaden are truly works of beauty. The interior of cherry wood is embellished with Greek sculptures, mosaic medallions, and crystal chandeliers. Despite its age, the Casino Wiesbaden provides more than 180 state-of-the-art slot machines in addition to traditional table games such as Blackjack, Poker, and the highest stakes roulette games in Germany.

Have You Heard? In 1440, German inventor Johannes Gutenberg created the first complete deck of playing cards. Before the development of the printing press, the majority of playing cards in Europe were written by hand. Investigate the history of playing cards.

Coming up on our days…

In the 19th century, European casinos were at their peak. The rooms became increasingly opulent, and the service reached an unprecedented degree of comfort. Each self-respecting individual was required to appear in a casino, which has become a forum for the discussion of urgent political problems.

At the end of the 19th century, the majority of casinos in Europe were forced to close owing to changes in the gambling laws, despite the widespread popularity of casinos among wealthier residents. The only casino that managed to survive was Monte Carlo, which had no gambling regulations.

In addition, at the end of the nineteenth century, the little principality of Monaco began to gain popularity. After a period of time, the expertise gained in the gambling industry enabled the establishment of Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the United States.

To conclude

Gambling is an ancient pastime. Casinos, which first existed in antiquity, have always been operational in the present day.

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