Europe’s Fascinating Casino History

Long before the days of Las Vegas, Europe was in fact the capital of all things gambling. Yep, that’s right – the Romans loved to bet their wealth. We’re going to take a look at the history of casinos in Europe and how this led to the casino scene across the globe today.


The Early Casino Days

Gambling began in Europe in 500BC (a long way back, right?) when dice games began to emerge. At the time, it was frowned upon by the Roman authorities but that didn’t stop anyone. Creative and new ways of gambling came about – this is when chips were introduced. Betting without real money helped reduce the likeliness of being caught!

The Medieval Period

Believe it or not, gambling stood the test of time and survived the medieval period. New forms of gambling appeared, including card games in the 15th century. Most people would play such games from the comfort of private homes and, in fact, lots of people still do over a thousand years later!

But, of course, gambling is now engaged with in a completely different way. For example, you can play online bingo on this website, and, in contrast to the medieval period, there are bonuses and a large variety of bingo games available. At around 490 years old, bingo is relatively new in comparison to certain card games, with the option to play from home being even newer at around 25 years old. So, it’s fair to say that these games have certainly stood the test of time.

The Very First Casino

1638 marked the date the first official casino was founded – the Riddotto in Venice. The Venetian gambling house was owned by the Italian government and was considered a safe place to gamble. As you can imagine, the decorations inside were nothing short of spectacular. Chandeliers, elaborate furniture, and impressive paintings all adorned the interior. Why? To attract upper-class clients of course! The casino remained active until the 18th century when gambling was declared illegal. Today, however, you can still find lots of casinos to visit when in the city, here’s a complete list:

Casinos Expand

In 1762, the Cardinal Jean-Theodore of Bavaria approved the second most historic casino in Europe – The Redoute Casino in Spa, Belgium. The casino even remains open to this day and can be visited. Following the opening of The Redoute Casino, further casinos began to open across Europe including Casino Baden Baden in 1765. Initially, only for the upper classes, people from elite and prominent families would visit these lavish casinos specifically to show off their wealth and status while socialising with others from similar backgrounds.

Monte Carlo Opens Casinos

The concession for the first casino and bathing house was approved and built in 1856. However, the casino did not see the same successes as other European destinations had with their casinos. This is where the help of François Blanc came about. A French entrepreneur and casino operator, he envisioned opening an all-year casino resort and made Monaco his place to do just that. In 1858 Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo was opened which is still one of the top attractions in the area today as seen on this list of things to do: With Blanc’s help, Monaco quickly grew to become the European hotspot for casinos.

Casinos Today

Casinos today can be found all across Europe and beyond. From Las Vegas to digital gambling, the future is bound to see much more casino development! In fact, with a global market worth in the hundreds of billions, we think g


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