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Top 5: World’s oldest casinos 

posted on 5 June, 2019

We’ve said it before and we will say it again. Gambling with money is nothing new. The fact is, this kind of amusement goes way back in history in many different cultures around the world. From Chinese to Greeks, Romans, Indians, and others. It’s fascinating to know that archeologists have found crude dice and such dated more than 40 000 years old. Looking at Chine there’s been findings of tile games dated to the 22nd century BC. These are just two examples out of many. If we’re trusting the evidence it’s said that Roman children were actually forced to learn dice games and to gamble! 

Going to medieval times there was something called gambling houses and they were made especially for the government and their entertainment. However, as time went by over centuries, gambling has been attracting more and more people. Even though we can’t find casinos that are 40 000 years old, there are still some survivors from the past with us today. Take a look and see if you’ve been to any of the 5 oldest casinos in the world.

Casinò di Venezia

As far as we, and probably everyone else, knows there is the famous Casinò di Venezia based in Venice, Italy. This is supposed to be the oldest active casino in the whole wide world, even today. The establishment was created for the Venetian nobles in 1509 already. It started out as a gambling house a little later though, in 1638. In Italy, these gambling houses were also known as ”ridotto” or ”ridotti” which basically means private rooms. At this time Casinò di Venezia wasn’t standing alone. It was one of around 20 gambling houses back in the day, built for different types of entertainment. 

Just looking at the building of Casinò di Venezia you will be amazed since it is a true work of art till this day. Combine marble, sculptures, chandeliers and an overall luxury atmosphere you will probably feel like you’re taking a trip into history while visiting Casinò di Venezia. Another fun fact about this particular casino is that the easiest way to go there is by gondola or a water taxi. So the casino actually represents the city’s nickname ”the City of Canals” quite well if you ask us. 

The easiest way to go there is by gondola or a water taxi.

If you want to go to Casinò di Venezia today you should know it’s based in two locations. The second, called Ca’ Noghera opened in 1999 while the original is named Ca’ Vendramin Calgary. In the later you will find more than 600 slots and a whole bunch of table games such as Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker and Punto Banco, just to name a few. Casinò di Venezia is also famous for their tournaments.

Casino Wiesbaden 

In 1810 a new Kurhaus was built and it’s known as Casino Wiesbaden. So, in the beginning, it was actually more of a spa where the thermal spring was supposed to heal and cure the people who bathed there. However, the story of Casino Wiesbaden started 30 years before the whole construction even started. By this time, Prince Charles of Nassau-Usingen issued the very first permit allowing with card games. The combination of a spa and casino games attracted thousands of people to Casino Wiesbaden for years, including artists, writers and many more. Nowadays you can go to Casino Wiesbaden and enjoy table games such as Roulette and Blackjack, slots, poker. Other games available are bingo and video poker. 

Casino Wiesbaden also arranges slots tournaments where you can win some serious cash prizes. There’s also a restaurant and a bar with traditional German food. Who doesn’t love a superb schnitzel? 

Casino de Monte Carlo 

When we’re talking about old and famous casinos we can’t forget to mention Casino de Monte Carlo, based in Monaco. In the 1850s, Monaco was far from blossoming. In fact, it was the opposite. They were on the verge of bankruptcy. At that time Monaco was ruled by Prince Florestan I and Princess Caroline of the House Grimaldi. It was actually Princess Caroline who came up with the idea of a casino and their son got to the task of making the casino come to life. However, it all failed due to the lack of resources. Princess Caroline once again stepped up and convinced François Blanc to run the new Casino de Monte Carlo. Blanc received a 50-year license for operating the casino and he was the biggest shareholder as well. He made important changes and built new parts to the casino such as a concert hall, private gaming rooms, created public spaces and so on. Later on, Casino de Monte Carlo was remodeled again by a man named Salle Garnier who put up a performance hall to accommodate opera and ballet. Today Casino de Monte Carlo still offer exclusive gambling with everything from slots to table games of various kind. 

Fun fact about Casino de Monte Carlo 

Did you know that the term ”breaking the bank” was created at Casino de Monte Carlo as well? As you can imagine there have been many stories surrounding this casino and one of them is about Joseph Jagger. The Englishman had financial trouble back home so Joseph Jagger borrowed some money from family members and traveled to Monte Carlo with his son and his nephew. While visiting Casino de Monte Carlo Jagger soon noticed that some numbers on the Roulette wheel showed more than others. He quickly understood that the wheel wasn’t perfectly balanced so the three of them stayed and studied the Roulette wheel for weeks and made a plan on how to win. In just two days they managed to win more than 2 million francs. Unfortunately, this was more money than the casino had in hand and it was stated that Joseph Jagger was breaking the bank.  

It didn’t take long for the manufacturers of Roulette wheels started to redesign their products with movable partitions. Meaning the casino could move the numbers on the wheel to different positions. 

Kurhaus of Baden-Baden 

Another historical German casino is the popular Kurhaus of Baden-Baden. The building was finished in 1824 in classical style and architecture. Friedrich Weinbrenner was the city planner for Baden-Baden and he made sure that the Kurhaus of Baden-Baden would fit the surrounding buildings that he’d designed before, such as the City Hall and the Stadtkirche. 

In the 1830s the Kurhaus of Baden-Baden became more and more popular. One of the main reasons had to do with French laws starting to forbid gambling. This lead to French players coming all the way to Germany and the Kurhaus of Baden-Baden. The casino had a lot of famous visitors, including Marlene Dietrich and the writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Due to the First World War and World War II, the casino had a hard time recovering. 

If you visit the Kurhaus of Baden-Baden today you can enjoy slots, table games, and poker. 

Notable years at Kurhaus of Baden-Baden 

  • 1925: During spring in 1925, the Kurhaus of Baden-Baden arranged the 20th step of the International Chess Master Tournament. 
  • 1981: During fall in 1981, the Kurhaus was the location of the 11th Olympic Congress and the 84th session of the International Olympic Committee. This was actually where they chose the locations for the upcoming Winter and Summer Olympics. 
  • 2009: During spring NATO had an event at the Kurhaus of Baden-Baden. 

Casino de Spa 

Casino de Spa is another world-famous institution when it comes to gambling since it opened in 1763. The name comes from the fact that Casino de Spa is located in the city of Spa in Belgium. One of the reasons for the construction of Casino de Spa was because the city government simply wanted rich people to come to Spa. It all worked out well but then there was the Liege revolution in 1789. New laws banned gambling but still, Casino de Spa offered its games to those who wanted to play. 

During the First World War, the building was partly destroyed due to a fire but they rebuilt it about ten years later and Casino de Spa was re-opened. Reaching the 1980s Casino de Spa was renovated and in 2003 it was actually sold to the Belgian Circus. You can visit Casino de Spa today as well and try your luck on more than 100 slots, hit the tables and put on your best poker face. 

Who knows, in a few hundred years we might even see some of the casinos in Las Vegas as some of the oldest in the world as well? In the meantime, you can always check out our favourite online casinos here at BestCasino.