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Let’s face it – modern gamblers have never had it so good! Not only can you enjoy casino classics, poker, and sportsbooks from the comfort of home, but also play the latest Microgaming games on the go whenever and wherever you wish. Yet amazing as technology is, any player will jump at the opportunity to visit one of the classic European casinos. The only problem with this is choosing which of the thousands of casinos dotted throughout the continent deserve a place in the top five. We’ve compiled this list (presented in no particular order) based not just upon size, but also the history and uniqueness of the casino itself.
Casino De Monte-Carlo (Monaco) | This iconic destination is likely the most famous and interesting in the world, let alone Europe. Founded in the early 19th century to save the royal family from bankruptcy, the Casinio De Monte-Carlo has long held a prominent role in popular culture. Thankfully much care has been taken over the years to retain the exclusive and regal atmosphere, making this a truly unique casino favored by serious money players.
Despite currently hosting over a thousand different slots games as well as an encyclopedia of table games, interestingly enough citizens of the principality are barred from playing! As would be expected from such a historic and iconic resort, there are some incredible stories weaved into the casino’s history. Perhaps most famous of all would be the greatest gambler’s fallacy ever – in 1913 a roulette wheel landed on black 26 times in a row!
The Clermont Club (UK) | Unfortunately, unless you happen to be a member of the royal, political, business or entertainment elite chances are you’ll never have the chance to experience possibly the most exclusive gambling club in the world. Offering just six tables and with membership being on an invitation-only basis, the Clermont deserves a place on this list for the huge amount of history and rumor that is woven into its history.
Founded in 1962 as a place where high stakes gamblers could associate together in peace (away from the riff-raff!), there is a long-standing theory that certain club members helped the infamous Lord Lucan escape from justice after murdering his family’s nanny (and nearly also his then wife). What is certain is that the Clermont Club – or ‘set’ as they call themselves – have won and lost enormous sums over the years, and due to their close secrecy we can only guess at what else has happened behind the scenes.
Casino Baden-Baden (Germany) | Older than Monte-Carlo yet with almost as strict a dress code, this is one of the world’s truly iconic casinos. Famed for its stunning interior with gaming rooms that are more akin to an early 19th-century drawing room than anything as ‘vulgar’ as a Pit, this is as much a casino to experience as it is to enjoy. Curiously it is actually a much less formal affair than many visitors expect, with a ‘clubby’ yet engaging atmosphere. This casino is basically the near exact opposite of what you’d find in Vegas, Atlantic City or Macau!
Visitors can expect truly five-star service (you get what you pay for here) whether enjoying the slots or table games, dining at world class restaurants or just marveling at the dozens of chandeliers that illuminate the baroque design that runs throughout. The attached international conference center always guarantees a well-heeled international crowd, adding even more to the unique, cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Casino Estoril (Portugal) | So far we’ve checked out casinos geared more towards the elite end of the market – but the fact is that most casinos across Europe are ever more starting to resemble the Vegas experience. One of the best-known examples of a contemporary super-casino resort is the Casino Estoril, where players from across Europe soak up the sun during the day and hit the games at night. Just as with the Vegas resorts, there are seemingly endless dining and entertainment options that supplement the casino.
Vistors can expect one of the largest playing areas on the continent with hundreds of moderns slots as well as all the familiar favorites. Yet don’t forget that despite much recent expansion there’s plenty of history in the older sections of the casino. During WW2 it was considered a key venue for spies to conduct their shady acts of espionage….
Porto Carras (Greece) | One of Europes largest resorts is also home to one of the largest and most visited casinos. Even though it has yet to celebrate even its 40th anniversary, it is a slightly bizarre reimagining of the classic Vegas strip casinos of the 60s and 70s. The centerpiece is the main casino area which is designed to resemble an enormous cruise liner – something which even Vegas would consider Kitsch nowadays but curiously befitting the ocean-faring history of the host country.
The popularity of Porto Carras is that it is by casino resort standards a family destination. Alongside the opportunity to play hundreds of slots and classics, visitors can play golf, visit amusement parks, enjoy outdoor sports, visit the spas – the list is nearly endless. Interestingly they are one of the very few casinos which only admit players over 23 years of age.