When you think of the casino online with Betfair, as well as the brick-and-mortar gambling scene, your first thought is most likely to be the bright lights of Las Vegas, but it’s not always been that way. The oldest casino in the world is actually found in Venice by the Grand Canal, and is called the Casino Di Venezia. This history-making landmark opened in 1638, and was originally known as the Theatre Saint Moses, with only one wing dedicated to gambling, which was run during intermissions of each play. This helped jumpstart a whole casino craze in Venice and, by 1744, there were over 120 locations to choose from!
This Renaissance palace was first built in the 15th century by an Italian architect named Mauro Codussi, who had previously been commissioned to design some of Venice’s most beautiful churches. Andrea Loredan, an Italian nobleman, challenged Codussi with the task, having already begun collecting grand pieces of art from across the country. What’s more, he also pulled Italian masters Mattia Bortoloni, Palma il Giovane and Gian Battisa Crosato into the task, having them design the ceilings and paintings that line the walls.
When it first became a casino, the building was known as the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi. After a few years of operating in this way, it began to serve as a home for Italian royalty, before being used as a getaway for the German composer Richard Wagner, between the years 1858 and 1883. By 1959, the city of Venice had taken ownership of the grand building, finally opening it as an official casino. Now, Casino Di Venezia offers its patrons hundreds of ways to gamble, such as Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and over 600 slot machines, as well as hosting many ongoing tournaments for professional players, the World Poker Tour, for example.
As well as having such a rich and recognisable history, this masterpiece of a building also offers a whole host of entertainment options to its players. There’s a free boat shuttle that takes guests along the canal that runs across the front of the casino, a real tourist experience! The casino also features a restaurant which is named in honour of the aforementioned composer – The Wagner – as well as a museum which opened in 1995, depicting the creative life of the musician.
Many famous faces have chosen to party at this location, utilising both the cultural insights and top-notch gambling facilities. The casino has been featured in many Hollywood movie sets and celebratory film festivals, as well as being instrumental in the development of the set for Casino Royale.
Other noteworthy casinos that marked the beginning of the brick-and-mortar craze include:
- Belgium’s Casino de Spa (1763)
- Germany’s Casino Wiesbaden (1810)
- London’s Crockford’s Club (1828)
- France’s Casino de Monte Carlo (1856)
The difference between visiting somewhere with such a rich history, instead of a shiny new establishment, is that you also get the chance to absorb the scenery and learn a little bit about its origins! With so many wins before you, you could make some history of your very own when you visit some of these age-old casino locations.