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First casino in the world

First Casino in the World - Where, When and by Whom

Casinos date back centuries, and did you know that the first casino in the world is still standing! Reachable by gondola or water taxi, the Venice casino stands at over 380-years old!

But many other casinos are still operational today, and this is what we're going to look at in more detail. When we think of casinos nowadays, we often head to the internet to get our thrills, thanks to the advancement of technology, but it all started with land-based casinos many years ago.

Some of the oldest casinos still standing are now some of the most famous gambling destinations in the world. In them, we'd see games that may be similar to the ones we know and love online, but the experience itself would be one-of-a-kind. So, let's look at the first casino in the world and others that are still going strong.

The First Casino in the World

With so many gaming capitals now, some of you may wonder: Where was the first casino in the world? It was built in Venice, the city with gaming roots dating back to its earliest ancestors. Following the success of the first casino in the 17th century, others started to follow. You can also check out more information on the history of gambling in our earlier blog.

Unfortunately, not all of them are still standing today. We have, however, managed to find five of the oldest casinos still in operation and visited by players across the globe.

#1 Casinò di Venezia

casino di venezia

Casinò di Venezia is the oldest casino in the world and is still known today by this name. To be precise, it is a 381-year old establishment that opened in 1638 and is considered one of the world's famous gambling capitals. This Renaissance-style building is located on the Grand Canal in the Cannaregio quarter of Venice (Veneto), and the best way to approach it is by gondola or water taxi.

The Venice casino was initially called the Ca' Vendramin Calergi, which served as a home or a getaway for many prominent people throughout history, including composer Richard Wagner. The palace used to belong to many different noblemen until the city of Venice purchased the property in 1946, renovated and reopened it as the official gambling place in 1959. Today, the casino attracts visitors from all over the world and hosts classic table games like roulette, blackjack and poker, as well as 600 slot machines.

#2 Casino de Spa

casino de spa

Built back in 1763 and located in Belgium, the Casino de Spa is the next landmark on our list. Due to extensive fire damage during World War I, most of the building's structure was destroyed. However, the place was rebuilt in 1918 and has undergone several transformations for hundreds of years. Finally, the building went through a complete renovation in the 1980s.

Since the early 2000s, the casino has been run by the Circus Casino Spa Group Casino and remains an exciting place to visit. There, you can find various types of entertainment - from slot machines (there are more than a hundred!) to table and live games suitable for different variants of blackjack, roulette and poker.

#3 Kurhaus of Baden-Baden

kurhaus of baden baden

The next casino on our list is Kurhaus of Baden-Baden, a nineteenth-century casino that opened in 1834. It's an entire complex consisting of a casino, spa resort, and conference, with the main entrance to the building boasting imposing neo-classical Corinthian-style columns. The place became very popular in the mid-1830s, when gambling was forbidden in France, so many people from abroad would hop over the border to test their luck and the casino.

Kurhaus of Baden-Baden is a host to many international gatherings and events nowadays – such as a chess tourney, Olympic Congress, NATO summit and others. According to some resources, Marlene Dietrich and Fyodor Dostoyevsky were regulars here, and it is generally believed that "The Gambler" was written following the author's visit to the Kurhaus casino.

#4 Casino de Monte-Carlo

monte carlo casino

The next entertainment complex on our list is Monaco-based Casino de Monte-Carlo. The property is owned and operated by the Société des bains de mer de Monaco. It was built back in 1856 when Princess Caroline of the House Grimaldi came up with an idea to build a casino for Monaco to avoid bankruptcy. In 1863, the casino was moved to a new location; the Bishop of Monaco and the future Pope Leo XIII were among the investors.

Today, this land-based establishment looks more luxurious than ever, offering a collection of games such as French Roulette, Trente et Quarante, Baccarat, Blackjack and Texas Hold 'em. The casino is also famous for welcoming new and occasional players who want to try their luck while playing slots and table games under the glow of Bohemian crystal chandeliers. If you're thinking of visiting yourself, why not check out some gambling songs to get you in the mood.

#5 Golden Gate Casino

golden gate casino

You have probably wondered - what was the first casino built on the Las Vegas strip? We'll tell you right away! Located in the city's centre, on the corner of Main and Fremont Streets, one of the oldest casinos in Las Vegas is Golden Gate Casino. The property was purchased for $1,750 by John F. Miller in 1905, who opened it a year later. The casino operated within the hotel until a state gambling ban took effect in 1909.

The casino reopened in 1931 when Nevada re-legalised gambling, changing the name to Sal Sagev (Las Vegas spelt backwards). More than 20 years later, the property was renamed again to Golden Gate Hotel and Casino. Being ten floors tall and four blocks long, the place is known for its legendary parties and unique shrimp cocktails, which have been on the menu for almost 60 years.

What Was the First Casino in the USA?

Dating back to the 1940s, the casino that first hit the USA gambling scene was El Rancho, southern Nevada. According to a source, it could have been as early as 1941 and was built by Southern Californian Thomas Hull.

Others quickly followed suit, prompting the state of Nevada to pass the gaming revenue tax in 1945. A decade later, the Nevada Gaming Control Board was set up, followed by the passing of the Nevada Control Act in 1959.

The USA has made waves ever since, and in 1963, the first electromechanical slot was produced. Soon after that, other states stepped up, including New York, which legalised off-track wagering in 1971.

If you are a gaming enthusiast, you can also check out a detailed timeline of gaming in the US for more information.

What Is the Oldest Casino in the World?

The oldest casino in the world, known as Casino di Venezia dates back to the 17th century and is still thriving. Located on the Grand Canal in the Cannaregio quarter of Venice, it is now over 380 years old! Visitors from around the world are still attracted to the casino, and it is home to popular table games and slot machines.

According to sources, gambling activities date back even further, with the earliest six-sided dice games in the Palaeolithic period. It is also said that casinos date back to the Ancient Egyptians, but none of these gambling venues still exist.

Visiting the world's oldest casinos is something many of us will never get to experience, but if you do go, our blog on gambling terms may also come in handy before your visit. We'd also love to hear from you too! We will continue this discussion in our Forum, so please feel free to visit us there and get involved.

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