When people think of casinos and gambling, their minds are automatically transported west to the bright lights of Las Vegas, or east to the towering monuments of excess on the Chinese island of Macau. When it comes to European gambling, the vast majority of people will be thinking of Monaco, the uber-wealthy micro-state which houses the world-famous Casino de Paris.
However, it’s the Italian capital which is truly the best place in Europe for casino-lovers. It may not be able to compete with the likes of Las Vegas, but it certainly has the likes of Monaco and London beat hands-down.
There are opulent, old-world gambling halls where you can feel like royalty, as well as a number of more intimate venues dotted around the city where you can have a quintessentially Italian gambling experience. Here’s why Rome is the best city in Europe for casinos.
Rome: Historical Capital of Casinos
Okay, so technically the first known casino in the world opened a little further north, in the former city-state of Venice. The Casino di Venezia, opened all the way back in 1638 to cater to the wealthy hedonists of the famous party town, is largely considered to be the historical home of casinos. However, it is in Rome where gambling as we know it first took hold and flourished.
Many of the earliest forms of gambling activity in recorded history took place during the height of the Roman Empire, with everyone from wealthy senators to urban peasants participating in early forms of backgammon and lottery-style games.
The villas of the Roman elite were often kitted out with dedicated gambling rooms, whilst the taverns of the crowded city would have tables for anyone wishing to indulge in a little bit of table gaming. This was all nearly two thousand years before countries such as France began to popularize games like roulette.
A Huge Variety of Casino Experiences
Rome has a lot going for it. As well as being one of the most romantic cities in the world, it is also one of the most fun. The casinos on offer vary greatly in terms of vibe, budget, and gaming options, with visitors easily spending entire days exploring the casino scene.
In many ways, the casino landscape of Rome reflects how much the city has changed, and how much it has stayed the same. You can hit up historical venues such as the Casino de la Vallee for a diamond-studded, old money gambling experience.
Alternatively, places such as Club Spirito highlight the youthful hipsterism of ‘new Rome’, where gamblers can sample deconstructed cocktails and craft beer between spins of the roulette wheel. Those wanting to gamble in a more traditional Roman fashion are more than welcome to hit up the cosy gambling dens which have a more informal atmosphere, such as the New York 777 Cafe or the Bingo Rouge et Noire.
Whatever your tastes, Rome will have something for you, why not indulge in some casino gaming next time you’re in town.