History~ Le Casino de Monte-Carlo
History~ Le Casino de Monte-Carlo
Welcome to the world’s most prestigious Casino.
The main, projecting façade was completed in 1890.
Designed by French architect Jules Touzet (1850–1914), Officer of the Academy and a graduate of the School of Fine Arts of Paris, the building is enhanced by a wrought-iron awning and two pavilions crowned by domes covered in ceramics which frame the entrance.
From 1890 to 1892, the two turrets were adorned with clocks : one giving the time in Monaco, the other in Paris, whence “La Seine” and “La Méditerranée”, two statues by Italian sculptor Fabio Stecchi (born in Urbino in 1855 – died in Nice), a pupil of Pio Fedi (1816–1892) in Florence, then of Paul Dubois (1829–1905) in Paris. Stecchi first settled in Paris in 1879, then moved to Nice where he lived until his death. Two more statues by this sculptor adorned the façade in 1890, “Le Jour” (“Day”) and “La Nuit” (“Night”), but they were removed and destroyed by the artist himself.
The lateral façade (right) was uniformised in 1906 by architect Arthur Demerlé. A short, elegant balustrade runs along the top, interrupted by bronze sprites carrying torches and figures representing the four seasons.
François Blanc, then his wife Marie, and later his son Camille, called on the services of the best architects and artists of the late 19th century, including Charles Garnier, who had just completed the Paris Opera-House.
They all had a remakable feeling for the concept of spaciousness.
The vast rooms, in which each panel, each frieze were entrusted to these painters or sculptors, convey a feeling of unity through their impressive volumes. The choice of the paintings in each room reinforces this impression, as they are almost all an ode to beauty and the elegance of women. This evocation of women is very different depending on the painters and eras concerned, ranging from the rigor of the Atrium to the fantasy of the Salle Blanche.
Casino comes from “casina”, a small house for courtesans : the first was built in the town of Spa in Belgium in 1762. The casino portrayed here was inaugurated in 1863, a full century later.
The Casino de Monte-Carlo is like a jigsaw-puzzle. The main building dates back to 1863. Over the years, new rooms were built and added on to the main building, to meet clients’ requirements and offer the architecture that we know today.
Though the tale didn’t begin here.
In 1856, Prince Florestan entrusted Léon Langlois and Albert Aubert with the task of “building and running” an establishment which was to be named “Bains de Monaco” : its gaming rooms opened out to the Condamine.
There were very few visitors, as the only way of reaching Monaco consisted of taking the mule-path down from La Turbie or arriving by boat. By November 22nd, 1857, there were no longer any visitors, nor any employees.
Charles III decided to build the “Elysées Alberti”, the future “Casino des Spélugues”, which was then a wild plateau covered with olive-trees.
A road was built. The construction of hotels was completed. The neighbourhood became known as the “Golden Square” as early as 1863.
The Casino’s inauguration that same year was followed by its loss, as it was incapable of paying a player who had won 50,000 F, unless it gave him the Casino itself.
The Hôtel de Paris was inaugurated in 1864.
After making the fortune of Bad Homburg (that he left because its legislation changed and gambling was forbidden), businessman François Blanc took over the Casino and obtained exclusive operating rights for 50 years from the “Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers”.
He arrived in Monaco with a number of croupiers (which explains why some families in Monaco still have Germanic-sounding names).
In 1878, Charles Garnier transformed the Salle Europe, the Casino’s first gambling room, opting for sobre decoration. The allegorical paintings which have been preserved date back to the Casino’s restoration in 1898. One also finds frescos inspired by the seasons and the idyllic nature in Monaco, not forgetting the eight chandeliers weighing 150 kg, made of Bohemian crystal.
1868 : the steam train arrived in Monaco and the first of five “Cafés de Paris” was built, in the style of an Alpine chalet. It was called the “Café Divan” and offered billiards, a tobacconist’s and the “Parfumerie du Soleil”.
New buildings followed in its wake in 1882, 1890, 1897 (with its current name, in oriental style with a minaret and “Lézardière” terrace) and 1988 (10,000 m2, 500 slot-machines, 8 black jack tables, 6 American roulette tables, 1 craps table) and a restaurant seeting 250 guests, adorned with 16 stained-glass windows, 200 seats on the terrace, 100 seats in the “Parisienne”, 280 seats in the Salon Bellevue.
1869 saw a stream of some 170,000 visitors (Alexandre Dumas, Baron de Rothschild, Baron Haussmann, Jacques Offenbach, Prince Napoleon…)
1873 : Monte-Carlo was the only Casino still operating in Europe.
In 1878, Charles Garnier and the architect Dutrou rebuilt the Casino in only six months (the Atrium and Salle Renaissance) and the Opera-House was finished (in the Gallery, one could admire two landscapes painted by Jundt in 1879, the first a view of Roquebrune Cap Martin as seen from the Casino, and the other a view of the Casino seen from Roquebrune Cap Martin). 2,000 people came to gamble every week, including all the crowned heads of Europe. Sarah Bernhardt inaugurated the Opera-House.
1881 : construction of the Salle des Amériques, the former “Salle Garnier”
1883 : the gardens were laid out.
1890 : introduction of electricity.
1903 : addition of the smoking room and Salle Blanche. Visitors can still admire “Les Grâces Florentines” painted by Gervais who took inspration from the features of Cléo de Mérode, Lyane de Pougy and La Belle Otéro (centre).
Through a friend in the clergy, an Italian countess succeeded in having a gold Louis coin blessed by the Pope. She used it to gamble and won, then lost all her winnings including the gold Louis, which she never recovered. She tried to obtain another blessing, but her attitude had caused a scandal and she finally entered a convent.
The Prince of Nepal could only gamble 5 days a year and had the private salons kept open for the duration of these periods.
A South African gambler played the number of the psalm he heard sung at the Anglican church, and won at roulette. Seeing a new influx of worshipers, the Anglican pastor realized that they were playing the numbers of the psalms and avoided those lower than 36…
The bank went broke when the reserves of money at each table were all paid out. The table was covered with a mourning cloth and more funds were brought in.
Charles Wells broke the bank on several occasions in 1891. He played numbers lower than 10 and pocketed 1,000,000 gold francs. Song-writers in London wrote a song called “The Man who Broke the Bank in Monte-Carlo”. On his return, he bet on number 5 and left with 3,000,000 francs. The English still remember him well. Convicted for cheating, he was sent to prison but the mystery of his amazing success was never elucidated.
1906 : uniformation of the façade.
1910 : construction of the Cabaret on the site of the former terrace, and the Salle François Médecin (named after the Monégasque architect), also known as the Salle Empire because of its mahogany panelling engraved in gold. It was a private circle to protect high-rollers from indiscreet eyes. The paintings are by Armand Segaud.
The four Super-Privés were created : the Club Anglais, Salon Cuir, Salon Rouge and Super Privé Cabaret, where one could play European and English roulette, Black Jack, Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer.
The chamber music room named after Louis Ganne (conductor, 1862-1923) was inaugurated on December 31st, 1910. In 1948, it was transformed into the Cabaret for performances of “Comedia dell’Arte”.
1911 : Diaghilev, Nijinski, Chaliapine, Edward VII, Caruso and La Belle Otéro were all to be seen at the Casino… Louis II was also a regular patron of the Café de Paris.
1931 : introduction of slot machines with the “Liberty Bell”, invented by an American engineer.
1948 : inauguration of the restaurant Les Privés.
1988 : inauguration of the Train Bleu restaurant, named after the train which brought travellers from the north to the shores of the Mediterranean.
The Casino is a place for gambling, with the prestige and services of a museum :
- a croupier makes his living from the “pourboire gagnant” (initial stake)
- 37 numbers, just one winner, ie. 1/37 = 2.7
Entering the Casino de Monte-Carlo is not just a matter of trying one’s luck at the tables, but also, and above all, entering the legend of a unique place…
Monte-Carlo has been a legend for almost 150 years, and its Casino has been a cornerstone in its legendary success. Its architecture, history and the people who came here to gamble have all played their part in making the Casino de Monte-Carlo a myth in the eyes of the entire world…
Monaco’s most prestigious distinctive assets.
” It comprises 2 palaces and 2 deluxe hotels, 5 casinos , 60 conference and banqueting rooms, 33 bars and restaurants, 3 spas including Les Thermes Marins de Monte-Carlo, as well as cultural and leisure venues including the Opera, the Salle des Etoiles, the Jimmy’z night club, the Monte-Carlo Golf Club and the Monte-Carlo Country Club“
Le Casino de Monte-Carlo Today
Le Casino de Monte Carlo Today
The New Terrace Of Monte-Carlo
From now on, the prestigious setting offered by the Casino de Monte-Carlo is no longer imprisoned within its walls. It has been enriched with an additional decor : Monte- Carlo’s starry sky and the sea…
Summer 2011 will go down in the history of the Casino de Monte-Carlo. It now benefits from a vast terrace next to the gaming rooms, enabling players to benefit from American and European gaming tables in the open air, beneath the sky and facing the sea… They open out to a decor of palms and exotic plants offering players a unique and inimitable atmosphere.
From now on, you’re in just the right spot to grab your lucky star !
The New Monte-Carlo Terrace
30/40, European and English Roulette, Punto Banco.
Open daily from 2 p.m.
European Roulette, Chemin de Fer, Black Jack. Punto Banco :
Open thursdays, fridays, saturdays, sundays and bank holidays from 2 p.m.
Banque à Deux Tableaux : from 5 p.m.
30/40 : from 10 p.m.
Salle des Amériques
Black Jack, Craps, American roulette. Open daily from 2 p.m.
Open daily from 2 p.m.
free admission ; minimum age 18.
Salle des Blanche
Open daily from 2 p.m.
In the gaming rooms : sensible dress is required. No shorts or flip flops allowed.
In the private rooms : after 8 p.m. every day, a jacket is required. No sport shoes allowed.
Entrance fee is 10 € per person, supplement of 10 € for the private rooms
Identity card is strictly required
Minimum age : 18
Address : Casino de Monte-Carlo – Place du Casino – MC 98000 Principality of Monaco
Casino Café de Paris
Le Casino de Paris Monaco
This is one of the most well-known places for meeting up and getting together in Monte-Carlo. Offering a very innovative concept with regard to slot-machines and a choice of American table games, this casino invites you on a trip around the galaxy.
Salon Grand Siècle :
Slot machines & Video Poker. Open daily from 4 p.m.
No specific dress code applies
free admittance ;minimum age : 18
Address : Casino Café de Paris – Place du Casino – MC 98000 Principality of Monaco
Sun Casino Le Circus
Sun Casino Le Circus
Decorated on the theme of festivities and the circus, this Casino is paradise for fans of the latest American games.
American Roulette, Stud Poker, Black Jack, Craps, One Deck Black Jack, Big Wheel, War Game, Three Cards Poker.
Open daily : from 5 p.m. on weekdays, 4 p.m. on weekends
Roulette Club, Xtreme Derby, Fort Knox, Party Time.
Open daily from 12 p.m.
No specific dress code applies, bearing in mind that this is a “trendy” place.
free admittance ; minimum age : 18
Address : Fairmont Monte Carlo – 12, avenue des Spélugues – MC 98000 Principality of Monaco
Monte-Carlo Bay Casino
Monte-Carlo Bay Casino
Just a few paces from The Sporting Monte-Carlo is the Monte Carlo Bay Hôtel & Resort, in which there is a ultra contemporary designed casino, combining pleasure and comfort
145 slot machines equipped with the. “ Ticket In / Ticket Out ” technology, unique in Southern Europe.
Open every day from 2pm to 2am
Sensible dress wear required, bearing in mind that this casino is part of a luxurious resort.
free admittance – minimum age : 18
Address : Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort – 40, avenue Princesse Grace – MC 98000 Principality of Monaco