A bit of history
The year in 1638 this often considered to be the birthday of the very first casino. La Redoute is regarded to be the very first modern casino on the continent. It is located in the town Spa in south-eastern Belgium and opened in 1771 under the initiative of the two mayors Gérard de Leau and Lambert Xhrouet. The establishment included a theatre, ballroom and a casino. It marked the dawn of many other establishments of this type being opened across Europe before many governments eventually decided to ban gambling in the mid-19th century. In 1856, Prince Charles III authorised the opening of the Casino in Monte Carlo. This was the only operating casinos on the continent for many years. It mostly attracted the European elite and became a sophisticated gambling place were roulette was the most popular game. It was played with the same rules as they are still used today. Many more land-based casinos were opened again all across Europe after the end of the 19th century.
Main areas with casinos
The largest casino on the continent is located in Estoril, Portugal, just 18 km away from Lisbon. Some other places worth mentioning are London and Monaco, that feature multiple popular establishments, such as the Aspers Casino in Westfield Stratford or the Monte Carlo Bay Casino. The most important casino regions on the continent are at:
- Lake Geneva, as this region attracts French and Swiss clientele,
- The Côté d'Azur that features a number of impressive establishments, such as the Barrière Casino le Ruhl in Nice or in the Joa Casino La Siesta in Antibes
- there are also locations in the East, such as Nova Gorcia where the casinos are combined with a leisure complex.
The largest gambling market in Europe is in France, that has almost 200 casinos, the largest of them is the Casino in Enghein-les-Bains, and there are also some other popular establishments, such as the Casino in Deauville or at the Casino Grand-Cerle in Aix-les-Bains.
Most popular games
Slot machines and video poker are among the most popular games in the casinos in Europe. As for table games, blackjack, roulette and baccarat are also widely available in the casinos as well. Different variants of poker are also becoming more and more popular, as can also be seen with the rising popularity of the King's Casino in Rozvadov that has the largest poker room in Europe, which is located in a small village with just 800 residents at the German-Czech border.