Parked in front are Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, Lamborghinis, and stretch limousines. Tourists snap photos in front of the fountain or line up to tour the interior. It’s arguably the most famous casino in the world.
Who doesn’t know of the Casino Monte Carlo? Even disguised as “Royale-Les-Eaux” in Ian Fleming’s first Bond book, “Casino Royale,” the Belle Epoque beauty is instantly recognizable from the many movies in which it has played a supporting role: Bond movies “Golden Eye” and “Never Say Never Again,” 2010’s “Iron Man 2,” 2004’s “Ocean’s 12,” and the animated “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.” And in real life, racers in the Monaco Grand Prix sweep past the Beaux Arts façade.
It’s not just in the movies that the rich and famous frequent the Casino, which was founded 157 years ago in 1863 after previous casino ventures failed. The goal was to bring in revenues to support the royal family, and the Principality, a task it still achieves today.
Surrounded by gardens and with a sweeping terrace facing the Mediterranean Sea, the Casino de Monte Carlo is the largest and most famous of Monaco’s five casinos. The recently renovated Place du Casino harks back to 1930s glamour, and it’s no surprise that players can dine at the Alain Ducasse Michelin 3-star restaurant Louis XV. The Casino draws a high roller crowd to its backroom Salons Privés, where after 10 pm, coat and tie are required to enter. Known high-limit players also have access to four “super private rooms.” And although not specifically designed for it, the Casino’s extra-wide roulette tables can help make for easier social distancing going forward. Try something new—and old—with a game of Trente et Quarante. Also known as Rouge et Noir (Red and Black), it’s not a type of roulette but a 17th-century card game that is seen primarily in European casinos.