History and gambling interlaced on the French Riviera

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Casino Life & Business Magazine plays on Côte d’Azur

Once you leave Menton and start going up the wavy road watching over the sea, marvelous views start to unveil. And there’s nothing more beautiful than seeing them at sunset, when the daylight vanishes in the dark of the evening and thousands of lights create an unforgettable dreamy show.
A few localities are spread on the way and then you get to Monte Carlo, the most famous European city dedicated to Formula 1, to luxury and also to gambling.
Monte Carlo, the capital city of the Principality of Monaco, is a tangle of suspended streets, lanes and tunnels, plus all kinds of establishments, more or less famous, but all of them showing off opulence or parking full of super cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini or Rolls Royce. People are noisy and turmoil in a strange rush around famous locations. In Monte Carlo, like in the entire Principality, modern and classic combine in a strange symbiosis which sometimes is creepy.

The absolute beauty of the Medieval city intertwines with the sky-scrapers with stunning heights, but also with the port where yachts with impressive lengths rest.
The history of the Monegasque Principality started in the evening of January 8th 1297 when Francesco Grimaldi used a stratagem to enter the Genoese citadel at that time.
He disguised into a monk and managed to fool the guards, who opened the fortress gate. Grimaldi’s army conquered the castle and became the first Prince having ruled the citadel on the Monaco rock. For his shrewdness he got the nickname “la Malizia”.
Ever since, Monaco has been ruled, with no interruption, by the Grimaldi family.
If the history of the Principality goes way back in time, the history of gambling in this country is much more recent.
In 1848 the localities Menton and Roquebrune declared their independence from the Principality of Monaco, and the financial situation of the Grimaldi family became critical, mainly because of the loss of the taxes from the trades with lemons and olives made by those two establishments.
It was at that time that Princess Caroline the wife of Prince Florestan I had the idea of building a casino, whose earnings would help the Grimaldi family from going bankrupt.
In 1856 opens the first casino from Monaco, having as model the one from Bad Homburg, in Bellevue Villa, a modest mansion situated in the La Condamine region. The casino was relocated several times until it got to the location where it is found today, in the area Les Spelugues (Caves).
Its construction started in 1858 and it ended in 1863. The architect of the casino was the same who built Hotel de Paris, the neighboring building.
Also in 1863 was established the company which would manage the casino: Société des bains de mer de Monaco, a public company in which the Monaco Government and the Grimaldi family hold the majority of the shares. The same company also holds other casinos, the main hotels, nautical clubs, sports clubs, restaurants or night bars from the Principality.
The management of the casino was entrusted to François Blanc, brought with considerable efforts from the management of the casino from Bad Homburg.
It is an interesting fact that at the date of establishment, from the company’s shareholders leading the casino were also part the Bishop of Monaco and also the Cardinal Pecci, the future Pope Leo the 13th.
Also in 1863, the area where the casino was built was re-designated Monte-Carlo (in honor of Prince Charles who followed to the throne) and the establishment got the current name, that of the Casino of Monte-Carlo.
In time the building of the casino enlarged and today it contains the Theatre, the Opera and the Ballet from Monte Carlo.
The building of the Casino of Monte-Carlo is divided in well defined halls, such as Salle Blanche & Terrasse, Salle Europe, Salle Medecin, each hall offering specific table games, both European and American, but also halls like Salle Des Ameriques and Salle Renaissance dedicated exclusively to electronic games of the type slot machines. There are also the saloons Super Prives where there can be played customized games.
From the category dedicated to European table games, we can find here: Punto Banco and Baccarat in Salle Blanche & Terrasse, Salle Europe, Salle Medecin and in the saloons Super Prives; Trente et Quarante in Salle Blanche and Salle Medecin; English Roulette in Salle Blanche, Salle Medecin as well as European French Roulette in Salle Blanche & Terrasse and Salle Medecin.
The American table games represented in the Casino of Monte-Carlo are Black Jack or 21 and Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker.
The restaurants Le Train Bleu and Le Salon Rose at the disposal of the players give a specific touch and complete a unique gambling experience.
The functioning program of Casino of Monte-Carlo is every day, starting with 2PM.
The appropriate dress co de is function to the hall where one plays, but, in general, people dressed in beach outfits aren’t received inside. In the evening, after 7PM, the dress code is smart-casual.
For those who want to visit the casino there is an entry fee, varying between 6 and 17 euro/person, function to the season, time, number of persons and age. After 14:00 o’clock children aren’t allowed to visit the casino.
Société des bains de mer de Monaco also holds in Monaco the casinos Sun Casino, Casino Cafe de Paris and Monte-Carlo Bay Casino.

Sun Casino offers to the public table games like Black Jack, English Roulette, Craps, Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker, Punto Banco, 3 Card Poker, but also electronic roulette. At the same time, there are 195 slot machines at the disposal of those who are keen on such kind of games.
Circus Restaurant is at the disposal of the players starting with 19:00 until midnight, when it turns into “After-Dinner Lounge” being open until 2AM.
The functioning program of the casino starts at 2PM every day. After 7PM people in shorts aren’t allowed inside.
Casino Café de Paris is dedicated to the amateurs of slot machine and electronic roulette. The casino is open 24/7 and it also includes two terraces in open space.
The lovers of table games aren’t neglected either; they can play here English Roulette, Black Jack, Texas Hold’em Ultimate Poker or Mini Craps.
The casino also has a VIP zone with 12 video poker machines dedicated to high stake gambling.
Monte-Carlo Bay Casino is located at the heart of Monte-Carlo Bay hotel & resort and if benefits of 157 slot machines inside as well as a terrace for smokers where other 30 machines can be found.
The casino doesn’t have a compulsory dress code, and the functioning program is every day from 2PM to 2AM.
The popularity of this casino is also given by the fact that here bets start from 1 cent.
The description of the available games, the address of the locations as well as the minimum value of the bets are described on the websites of every casino.
With his soul tied to the beauty of this Principality and loaded by the adrenaline of the game in this city full of history, the traveler moves forward to discover new locations along the French Riviera, locations which we will speak about in our next editions …