No other casino in the world symbolizes status and sophistication more than the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco. The ornate gambling house stands tall as the centerpiece of Monaco, a tiny principality nestled along the French Riviera. Often referred to as “a playground for the rich and famous”, this picturesque gambler’s paradise offers the elite a perfect blend of luxury and leisure.

casino de monte carlo

A valet stands in front of the grand Casino de Monte Carlo with Lambourghinis, Ferraris, and Rolls Royces all parked outside.

As one of the world's oldest casinos, the luxurious Casino de Monte Carlo was built in 1863 by Monaco’s House of Grimaldi to save the family from bankruptcy. French architect, Jules Touzet designed the building’s Beaux Art style design enhanced by wrought iron awning and two pavilions crowned by domes that frame the entrance. Mosaics, balustrades, garlands, arched windows and doors, statues, and heavy golden accents decorate the casino’s public and private gaming rooms. By the 1890s, the casino in Monte Carlo expanded to include the Salle Garnier concert hall, an opera house, and the Trente-Quarante Gaming Room. In addition, two turrets were built by the front entrance adorned with two clocks, one giving the time in Monaco, the other in Paris.

old photo casino de monte carlo

The Casino de Monte Carlo was first built in 1863 by Monaco's House of Grimaldi to save the family from financial ruin.

Entertainment at Casino de Monte Carlo did not begin and end in the casino itself. The casino’s history combined with its grand interior and being a notorious place for high rollers to frequent made it the perfect setting for some of Hollywood’s biggest hits. As producers in the film industry became fascinated with combining action with gambling, they sought out ideal locations to turn their fantasies into reality on the big screen. The beautiful Belle Époque architecture of the Casino de Monte Carlo inspired the fictional "Royale-Les-Eaux" casino in Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, published in 1953. The Monte Carlo gambling house and other Monaco casinos went on to appear in many Bond films including Never Say Never Again, Golden Eye, and Casino Royale. The Casino Monaco, James Bond and the film industry aren’t the only links between one another. The Monte Carlo joint made its claim to fame once again when it also served as the filming location for the casino movieOcean’s Twelve. These movies became some of the biggest hits in history, raising the casino’s status as a high roller destination even higher. After these movies hit the big screen, gamblers from around the world continued to flock to the famous destination to play their hands in fate.

james bond casino de monte carlo

The Casino de Monte Carlo served as the filming location for the 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale.

Once the casino opens its doors at 2 pm, a barrage of Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, and Bentleys pull up to the valet at the front entrance. Inside, it’s expected that patrons should look as good as the interior and the fancy cars pulling up to drop them off. High rollers aren’t the only people who are expected to look nice; guests must adhere to a strict dress code at the casino. This code enforces the rule that patrons cannot wear shorts or flip flops and men must wear jackets after 8 pm in the private gaming rooms. It is recommended for men to wear jackets elsewhere in the casino as well. There is nothing casual about this place or the people who frequent it and the Casino de Monte Carlo dress code is no exception to that unspoken rule.

Within the casino’s currency exchange room, staff members prepare suitcases filled with chips and plates worth $200,000 meant for the casino’s private gaming rooms. The filthy rich aren't the only ones that can enjoy the games at this Monte Carlo casino. Standard entrance tickets cost only 10 Euros each. Gambling in Monte Carlo, visitors can choose from a variety of games including European roulette, French roulette, English roulette, Trente et Quarante, Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer, blackjack, baccarat, poker, craps, and slot machines. Guests can also place bets on outdoor gaming tables and machines located on the La Racasse terrace. While the public can access most of the gaming rooms, some private rooms are strictly reserved for high rollers.

chips casino de monte carlo

A croupier sets up plaques worth up to $200,000 each in the private gaming rooms of the Salle Blanche.

Hundreds of staff members work together in the casino and behind the scenes to guarantee the highest level of service and to keep things pristine. Craftsmen including a woodworker and an expert in embroidery and tapestry work to build and maintain the gaming tables. There is even a legacy behind the Casino de Monte Carlo chips. The casino’s poker chips are some of the most sought after in the world. Collectors seek authentic chips from the casino today as well as the limited-edition vintage chips that date back to the 1920s and earlier. Technicians check the level and balance of the roulette wheels and inspect the white balls and dice for defects on a daily basis. During breaks, the parking valets rest in a small room called “the morgue”, a room formerly used to store the bodies of unfortunate gamblers, who lost their fortunes and killed themselves immediately after with a pistol right at the gaming tables.

casino de monte carlo card table

The casino treats their playing cards like fine wines, and stores 36,000 packs of cards in a special temperature controlled room kept at 20°C to keep them in mint condition.

In addition to its gaming rooms, the Monte Carlo casino complex includes various restaurants, cafes, theaters, and Monaco’s finest hotel, the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo which sits to the right of the casino. Outside of the Casino de Monte Carlo Hotel, tourists can enjoy vibrant nightlife, relaxing spas, stroll along the cobblestoned boulevards, or dine at one of the many local restaurants.

casino de monte carlo theater

The Casino de Monte Carlo offers more than gambling, and includes a theater, opera house, restaurants, and cafes.

Although income from the Grand Casino de Monaco and the Monte Carlo Casino generates huge sums of money for Monaco, its citizens are forbidden from entering them as well as any other casino. The casino enforces this law by checking the identification of each person before entering casinos in Monaco. As for the rest of us, the Monte Carlo Casino offers one of the world's premier places for gambling. Even those who don't drive a Rolls Royce can enjoy the exquisite design and luxurious atmosphere of this Monte Carlo casino.

Read more about Monaco and other great gambling getaways in The World's Best Casino Cities.