The First-Ever Casino – Going Through the History Pages

first ever casino

4 minutes

Posted by: David

Gambling is as old as civilization itself. Since the very first societies, people have come together to wager and gamble on many different things.

Over the centuries, this has evolved into what we are familiar with today – a multi-billion entertainment industry.

To fully appreciate the gambling scene of today, we should also know and understand the first steps of the industry and how first land-based casinos came about.

With that in mind, let’s take a walk through the history pages to see when and where the first-ever casino came up.

Casino di Venezia – Standing Through the Test of Time

The word casino originates from the Italian word “Cascina”, meaning “little house.” This Mediterranean country is where many historians think the first casino was founded.

The first casino in the modern concept we think of today was opened in the city-state of Venice. It first started operating in 1638 and was appropriately named Casino di Venezia.

The city of Venice itself is where many casino predecessors were first built, as this Mediterranean merchant city was one of the most affluent in the past thousand years.

Casino di Venezia, a gambling house opened in the 1630s, remains the oldest casino still in operation.

During its long and illustrious history, Casino di Venezia endured many changes.

To begin with, it was initially intended to be a theatre and was called Theater Saint Moses. During the 17th century, theatre enthusiasts could gamble during the intermissions of the plays they were enjoying.

The game selection was far from what you can find with top 50 online casinos today, but it was quite a big deal at the time.

This trend became so popular that Theater Saint Moses single handedly sparked the gambling craze in Venice. A little over a hundred years after Theater Saint Moses opened, there were more than 120 casinos in Venice.

Casino di venezia

At the time, gambling was entirely controlled by the local government and provided a significant source of income during the carnival season.

Unfortunately for gambling fans of that time, the casino was closed in 1774 as the city government felt that it was negatively affecting the local aristocracy.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the casino served as a home to Italian royalty and became a frequent getaway spot for many notable people.

The famous German composer Richard Wagner spent the better part of his last thirty years in Casino di Venezia.

What Games Does Casino di Venezia Have Today?

The casino experienced a major renovation after World War II, after the city of Venice bought it in 1946. Following a lengthy renovation project, the city reopened Casino di Venezia in 1959, featuring the setting we know and recognize today.

In terms of gambling content at the casino, this glamorous venue hosts a massive variety of options players can enjoy. There are around 600 slot machines and a lineup of table games hosted by sharply dressed dealers.

Oldest casino in the world

Some of the most popular games in the casino include poker, blackjack, and roulette. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the casino was also a regular host to blackjack and chemin de fer tournaments.

The venue was even the home for the popular World Poker Tour.

Today, Casino di Venezia still offers gamblers from all corners of the globe an experience they couldn’t get anywhere else. To get to Casino di Venezia, you take a bottle shuttle service that takes you right up to the casino doors.

Once you’re inside, you can enjoy and relax in the private garden, revel in the Renaissance Italian design, and marvel at the fine craftsmanship that marks every inch of the venue.

This quality setting has such charm and magnetism that it was used many times as a set for gambling movies and to host various events.

Rich History With a Promising Future

Casino di Venezia firmly stands tall as the oldest casino in the world after weathering many storms during the past few centuries.

It survived massive civilizational shifts and countless wars in the region. Even the gambling bans haven’t managed to put it out of business for good.

Although Casino di Venezia began as a gathering place for thespians, merchants, and aristocrats close to four centuries ago, it grew into a cultural hotspot recognized by gamblers and architecture devotees alike.

With that in mind, if you ever get the opportunity to visit Casino di Venezia in person, you should have different expectations than you would when visiting a Las Vegas or Macau casino.

This is because your gambling experience will differ significantly in Casino di Venezia from that in any other modern casino.

Moreover, most visitors that come to Casino di Venezia don’t go there purely for gambling. They go to experience the unique atmosphere, history, and luxury that playing in such an amazing building can provide.

Casino di Venezia has stood the test of time and is undoubtedly one of the standout architectural marvels in a city that’s known for its beautiful sights.

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