Nowadays, you can find casino establishments in almost every major city. These places signify mystery, glamor, wealth and a feeling that something remarkable is about to happen. Perhaps you will become a millionaire? Or maybe you will meet the love of your life?
Casinos have a long history. It all started in Venice, Italy, in 1638, when the Council of Venice Ridotto opened the first gambling house. The place became quite famous, and the news gradually spread around the world. In America, gambling establishments became known as saloons, which first emerged in New Orleans, Chicago and San Francisco.
But have you ever wondered what are the most famous casinos in the world? Let’s talk about these places enshrouded in mystery, home to legendary characters and life-changing events.
Binion’s Horseshoe, Las Vegas, USA
In 1951, Benny Binion bought the Eldorado Club and Apache Hotel in Las Vegas. As the first casino in the city, it achieved substantial fame over the years. Binion’s was also the first one to introduce the idea of comps — free beverages, discounted rates on hotel rooms and free meals for the players. And high rollers (players who bet hundreds of dollars at a time) could even get a free room or a limousine service. Since then, comps have become a standard around casinos that want their players to keep coming back.
Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel also hosted the first-ever WSOP (World Series of Poker) in 1970. This pioneering championship attracted many future legends of the sport, including Doyle Brunson whose title “The Godfather of Poker” is one of the best poker books ever.
Moreover, the casino is famous for its $1 million display made of 100 $10,000 bills (yes, these bills exist). The display is still there, but now, it consists of $270,000 in $100 bills, $688,000 in $20 bills and $42,000 in $1 bills.
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Atlantic City, USA
This casino, made famous way before Donald Trump became the President of the United States, is known for its kitschy but glamorous style. With stone elephants, minarets, shimmering chandeliers and pointed domes, this place became a grandiose parody of the original architectural marvel of India.
The Taj Mahal Casino became known even before its opening because of the impressive amount of financial resources it took to build it.
Indeed, at some point, the budget ballooned to $930 million. But ultimately, Trump was able to fund the project by emitting bonds with a 14 percent interest rate. When the establishment finished and opened to the public in 1990 (with over 120,000 square feet of gaming space), it turned out that almost no one would come. In the end, it became a favorite gambling spot for Russian mobsters from Brooklyn.
The casino was on the verge of bankruptcy for around two years after the opening, but in the end, it started bringing in substantial profits. It closed in 2016 and transformed into what it is today, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City.
Bellagio, Las Vegas, USA
This list couldn’t be complete without the Bellagio: a casino appearing on almost every postcard from Las Vegas. Known for its emblematic fountains, the project was first an idea in the mind of Steve Wynn, the most successful casino developer of all time, now worth over $3.4 billion.
The project started in May 1996 and lasted until October 15, 1998, consuming $1.6 billion in construction and design. Moreover, the cost of the opening ceremony was reportedly around $88 million.
The Bellagio is known as one of the biggest casinos in the world, employing around 8,000 people. It boasts a massive poker room called endearingly “The Office” because of the high-table limits. Also, it attracts famous players like Daniel Negreanu and Jennifer Harman regularly because of its multiple high-roller poker tournaments.
Casino de Monte-Carlo, Monte Carlo, Monaco
This casino was famous long before the James Bond movies and the establishment of the Las Vegas Strip. It started in 1850 but became more known since 1878 because of anexpansionthanks to the help of two skilled architects who also added the Opéra de Monte-Carlo and a Ballet Hall to the complex.
Believe it or not, for many years, the casino served as the main source of income and wealth in Monaco. The building also featured in multiple James Bond movies, including “Never Say Never Again,”“GoldenEye” as well as “Casino Royale.”
Casino Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany
The city of Baden-Baden was known in Germany for many years because of its natural thermal baths. Then one day,Emperor Franz I decided that to make the village a permanent location for the summer stays of the royal family.
That immediately attracted aristocracy and bourgeoisie and transformed Baden-Baden into a popular holiday resort. It was only natural that a new spa building and a casino establishment would emerge. In 1934, the casino opened, but then got shot down during World War II.
After the war, the building served as the Russian headquarters, and everything went back to mal by 1955. Since then, the casino has moved from place to place, finally returning to the original building in 1995 after many years of renovations.
To this day, the establishment is known for its opulence, elegance, rich history and the ability to attract aristocrats and celebrities, including Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Marlene Dietrich and Kirk Douglas.
These are only a few of the most-known casinos in the world. I hope it whet your appetite to learn more and maybe even visit some of these places during your next holidays.
You can say many things about casinos, but one thing you cannot deny is that when you enter one of them, you can feel the adrenaline and never know what will be the final outcome of the night.