Abandoned Casinos: Hidden Treasures of the Gambling World

The empty game rooms of abandoned casinos inspire a sense of wonder and offer an eerie glimpse into gambling history. The high rollers have cashed in all the chips and the sounds of roulette wheels and slot machines have been replaced with silence. Although the glory days of these old casinos have ended, what remains reveal true stories of wealth and luxury from the past.

Take a visual tour in time with our Abandoned Casinos Info-graphic.

CASINO CONSTANTA IN ROMANIA

Alongside the churning waves of the Black Sea, sits the empty skeleton of the Casino Constanta in Romania. The building’s Art Nouveau design looks magnificent from a distance. However, walking a few steps closer reveals a broken building with shattered windows, curling paint, and crumbling walls.

Casino constanta abandoned places

The Abandoned Casino Constanta from a Distance

Casino Constanta was built in 1910 by King Carol I in southeast Romania. It once attracted wealthy Europeans to its gallant game rooms. The casino was designed by French architects who used old ships and marine life to decorate the building’s façade. Inside, crystal chandeliers hung from high arched ceilings with windows in the shape of seashells overlooking the Black Sea.

abandoned casino constanta inside

"Inside crystal chandeliers hang from high arching ceilings with windows in the shape of seashells overlooking the Black Sea."

The once grand casino shut down after economic circumstances worsened in Romania and it became too expensive to maintain. After it closed, the abandoned casino in Constanta Romania served as a hospital during World War II and became a restaurant for a short time in the Soviet Union. Today it remains abandoned – an empty shell of the once majestic playground for elite gamblers.

PENTHOUSE ADRIATIC CASINO IN YUGOSLAVIA

In the thick of the Cold War, American businessman and Penthouse Magazine owner, Bob Guccione, hoped to lift the Iron Curtain. He invested $45 million into building an extravagant casino on the large and popular Adriatic Island of Krk in Soviet Yugoslavia. The five-star casino resort opened in 1972 inside the Haludovo Palace Resort Hotel.

penthouse adriatic abandoned casino

Poolside at the Penthouse Adriatic Casino in 1972

The Penthouse Adriatic Casino promoted absolute decadence. The building’s opulent and ultra-modern concrete design attracted guests with its hanging gardens, pools, and fountains. Scantily clad “Penthouse Pets” served cocktails by the pool or worked as croupiers, entertaining gamblers alongside spinning roulette reels.  Each day, guests consumed hundreds of bottles of champagne, 100 kg (224 lb.) of lobster, and 5 kg (11 lb.) of caviar.

penthouse adriatic abandoned casino

The Penthouse Adriatic Casino Abandoned

Visitors of the casino resort included assassinated Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, and former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, who gave an extraordinary $2,000 tip to a lucky croupier. Staff members also allege that one of Hussein’s sons accidentally left behind his personal handgun, which he hid under a pillow.

penthouse adriatic abandoned building

The Game Room Inside the Abandoned Casino

However, the party came to an end only a year after the casino’s opening when it went bankrupt in 1973. Although the Haludovo Resort carried on as a worker-run enterprise for the next two decades, it also shut down after the Yugoslavian Civil War. Today the casino sits amongst the abandoned places around the world in what is now Croatia.

ASBURY PARK CASINO IN NEW JERSEY

At the turn of the twentieth century, the city of Asbury Park represented Atlantic City’s biggest rival competitor as New Jersey’s leading casino and resort destination. Tourists would gamble at the Asbury Park Casino on the southern end of the boardwalk dressed in their Sunday’s best while chewing salt water taffies, the local treat.

asbury park abandoned casino

Asbury Park Casino in 1906

The architectural firm famous for New York’s Grand Central Station designed the casino’s Art Deco structure. The ambitious project featured extensive cast bronze and sheet copper ornamentation with large panorama windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the casino, the complex also included a carousel, theater, shops, and a roller skating rink.

Asbury Park Casino

The Abandoned Asbury Park Casino Today

By the 1960s, the shore town of Asbury Park declined. The casino has been abandoned for decades, and it’s ornate façade has deteriorated into green anodized metal. Although now empty, walking by the old building, one can almost hear the laughter and sounds of a lively casino.

asbury park abandoned casino

The Asbury Park Casino appeared in movies including City by the Sea starring Robert De Niro and inspired the “The Alderney Casino” in Grand Theft Auto IV.

THE JUBILATION RIVERBOAT CASINO IN MISSISSIPPI

The Jubilation Riverboat Casino started out as the SS Nantucket. The ship first set sail in 1957, ferrying passengers from New Bedford, Massachusetts to the island of Nantucket. The ship was later renamed as the SS Naushon and was the last steam-powered ship in regular operation on the East Coast of the United States before moving to the southern Mississippi River.

jubilation casino abandoned ship

The ship appeared in the movie Jaws in 1975. Today the riverboat casino sits abandoned in the Mississippi River.

Down in its new home in Mississippi, the ship functioned as the Cotton Club Riverboat Casino, which opened in December 1993. For two years, gamblers gathered on board the casino to place bets as the steamboat chugged along the Mississippi. The ship later moved to Lakeshore, Mississippi at Bayou Caddy where it became the Jubilation Casino.

$1.5 million was invested into the riverboat casino for refurbishments. However, the old ship did not fair very well and shut down in October 1995. Today the Jubilation Casino languishes in the waters of Mhoon Landing, Mississippi with a trashed interior and slot machines scattered across the gaming floor.

Jubilation Casino Inside

Slot machines left aboard the abandoned casino.

Learn more about riverboat casinos in the History of United States Casinos.

THE BOKOR HOTEL AND CASINO IN CAMBODIA

High atop a windswept mountain that stretches 1,000 meters (3,300 ft.) above the Cambodian coastline sits the abandoned Bokor Hotel and Casino. This beautiful French colonial casino opened in 1922 as a resort and gambling destination for social elites to escape from the heat and humidity of Phnom Penh. In its prime, the Bokor Casino served as Cambodia’s most luxurious colonial hideaway. Well-to-do visitors once flocked to the resort to enjoy its lavish gaming rooms, dance halls, royal apartments, and restaurants.

boker hotel and casino

The Bokor Hotel and Casino opened in 1922 and provided a gambling getaway for the country's elite.

The construction of the casino came at a high price. Over 2,000 Cambodians died building the road to the casino’s remote location, which snakes through 40 km (25 miles) of thick jungle. When the French left Indochina in 1953, tragedy continued to surround the historical casino. The Cambodian Civil War, Khmer Rouge genocide, Vietnamese invasion, and famine have all taken a toll on the country, and the casino has suffered along with it.

boker abandoned hotel and casino

The abandoned Bokor Casino overlooks the coastline in southern Cambodia.

The decaying remnants of the Bokor Hotel and Casino are all that have survived of this grand getaway. The abandoned building sits in the middle of a National Park with shattered windows, broken balustrades, and rusted Victorian turrets. The casino remains empty except for the occasional tiger spotted roaming the perimeter. Many locals also report ghosts haunting the casino. A park ranger claims that “every time we walk past, we can hear the dead walk in there. It’s full of ghosts.”

boker casino abandoned building

The creepy edifice still makes a popular destination for backpackers and also appeared in The City of Ghosts, a 2002 film starring James Caan and Matt Dillon.

CASINO DI CONSONNO IN ITALY

The abandoned Casino di Consonno sits on a picturesque hillside in the Italian ghost town of Consonno just a few minutes east of Milan. The Medieval village was once home to several hundred inhabitants before Count Mario Bagno bought the entire farming town in 1962. The Count had a vision to create Italy’s own Las Vegas paradise and demolished every building except for the casino and the local church of San Maurizio.

The Abandoned Casino di Consonno

The Count’s dream proved an utter failure and the project soon became one of the many abandoned places around the world. Since the 1960s, the “casino capital” has remained a ghost town and the empty gambling resort sits in neglect, a worn and weathered skeleton overlooking Lake Como.

Key Largo Casino in Las Vegas

There are dozens of abandoned casinos in Las Vegas, but the Key Largo Casino is one of the most well-known of them all. The casino was one of the city’s many live haunts from 1974 through 2005, but eventually became just another empty, haunted shell.

Key Largo Casino was abandoned and stood boarded up from 2005 through 2013, when a suspicious fire claimed what was left of its rickety remains. Before the fire happened, the city had plans to scrap the empty building and turn it in a condominium tower, but everything changed after the fire.

ATF investigators claimed that evidence from the scene prove that the casino fire was set intentionally and the Clark County Fire Department ordered the building to be demolished. Who set the fire? No one may ever know. As the saying goes, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. This is eerily true for the legacy of Key Largo Casino.

Although they sit empty and in decay, abandoned casinos are like hidden treasures that inspire the imagination to tell us the stories of the past.

Learn more about casinos still in operation with a list of the World's Top Casino Resorts.

 

Abandoned-Casinos

About The Author

I made my entrance to online gambling in 2004 in an attempt to understand the psyche of the casino goer. I've spent prolonged periods delving into the industry and its inner functions and continue to do so at VegasMaster every day. My research and experience has given me insights into gambling that I hope you'll benefit from.

3 Comments

  1. Even those these casinos are left abandoned, they still look really beautiful… and cool!

  2. RILEY555

    Some of these structures really are quite beautiful and spooky looking at the same time. To be honest I’m still amazed so many of them still exist and that they haven’t been torn down.

  3. joseph

    This is really interesting. I had no idea there were so many abandoned casinos. The pictures of them sort of remind me of sunken ships you find under the sea. It has that same haunting effect. I’m particularly fascinated with Casino Constanta.

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