What is Monaco without its Casino de Monte-Carlo? It’s hard to imagine. The casino has been an integral part of the country and a legendary temple for gaming and gambling for centuries. I was lucky to visit recently and see a glimpse of the principality’s lifestyle within the glorious rooms of the casino.

One of the rooms of the casino. Photo credits: Casino de Monte-Carlo.

From 1863 until now

The Monte-Carlo Casino was built by Charles Garnier who is also architect for Paris Opera House. Since it opened in 1863, the casino has been part of Monaco’s life and for many years was a major source of income for Monaco’s economy.

The casino’s architecture is mind blowing! Although, the outside facade of the building on ‘Place du Casino’ looks fairly modest when compared to the inside. Once I walked into the door, I knew I was in a legendary place. From the bright lights to the paintings on the wall, this was definitely a luxurious and historical casino. I was once again on the steps of James Bond! Agent 007 is known on the eponymous movies to spend a lot of time at this casino.

I arrived to the casino at around 2 am after a late dinner at nearby Buddha Bar. It was a perfect combination for the night, although, I would do things a little bit differently next time. I would actually start with the casino, enjoy the rooms, have a drink and maybe a little time by the slots before moving to Buddha Bar. Why? Because Buddha Bar was actually a fun place to stay for the rest of the night and party.22

The atmosphere in the casino is rather serene and quiet. It was topped up with a live performance from a Soul and Jazz singer which definitely adds a special extra to the atmosphere. I spent my time between two rooms. One room was filled with slots, while the other was offering a wide range of table games. At 2 o’clock in the morning, I was not bothered to know the names of each rooms. But according to the casino’s official website, there are 7 gaming rooms at Casino de Monte-Carlo.

I love gambling but I’m always aware of the fact that the casino always wins! So I was very careful and only went for a limited and small budget of 40 euros on the slots. I managed to almost double it in 2 minutes (by chance). My friend being very jealous as she was loosing already a hundredth so I decided to try my luck one last time to make her even more jealous… I lost it all. 

The risk is big but the Casino de Monte-Carlo definitely has a clientele that takes big risks. From professional gamblers to jet-setters from around the world, people with the big money come to Monaco for what the casino offers. They also make up the life of the casino! 

I was very lucky to witness Monaco at its core, the casino. This was my first time there and my time in Monaco was limited to an evening. It was actually the 52nd country I visit but one thing for sure, I know I will have to see many more casinos in my life to find one that competes with this one! Even very beautiful casinos I saw in Macau, “the Vegas of the East”, are not competing with this one. Casino de Monte-Carlo has its own charm and is simply legendary!

With friends from university at Place du Casino

Casino de Monte-Carlo dress code

The casino is open everyday from 2pm for playing with an entrance fee of 12 or 17 euros, depending on the season. However, between 9am and 12pm, it is possible to visit on a group tour costing 12 or 17 euros depending on the season. The casino likes to keep its traditions. For that, it requires people to dress elegantly.

In general, an appropriate casual attire is recommended for visits between 9am to 7pm (applies to group tours between 9am to 12pm and players from 2pm to 7pm). According to the official website of the casino, ‘city shorts, tee-shirts, and sports-type shoes will be tolerated’ during those times. However, a must-avoid are definitely flip flops, sandals, ripped jeans, sports clothing etc, you know the deal. 

After 7pm, Casino de Monte-Carlo applies another dress code. The appropriate casual attire still applies. Although, dark jeans and dark smart casual shoes are allowed. However, ‘shorts, tee-shirts or sweat-shirts of any kind’ are no longer allowed on the evenings. 

Overall, in order to comply with the casino’s dress code and avoid getting rejected just because of the dress code, just aim for an elegant and appropriate smart-casual attire. Probably an elegant dress for women and trousers, dark shoes and an elegant shirt for men are a safe choice.

Photo credits: Casino de Monte-Carlo.

Have you ever been to Monaco?