Review by Sophie Couard, written on September 1st, 2015.
First, I would like to say that I enjoyed my trips to the Casino Joa in Montrond-les-Bains. It is located in the heart of the famous spa town of the Loire department at 30 km from Saint-Etienne, and visiting the casino is a must if you want to have a good time, as it offers a very wide selection of different services. However, not all of these are of a very high standard, for example, the restaurant is a little disappointing. But overall, the casino offers very good services, and you can find out more about them in the review below.
A single games room with slots, Blackjack, Roulette, La Boule 2000 and Poker
I would like to start my review about the Casino Joa in Montrond-les-Bains with what interests me the most: the game selection.
The slot machines
The slot machine room is open every day from 9 am to 4 am, and until 5 am on Friday, Saturday and evenings before public holidays. There are 225 slot machine devices with bets starting from 1 cent up to €5, including 12 new multi-game machines with advanced technology. You can find:
- Electronic Roulette with 18 places ,
- a Wheel of Fortune with 5 places,
- Video Poker,
- video slots with 5 reels,
- mechanical slot machines with 3 reels.
The table games
The management had the bright idea to place the table games in the same room as the slot machines, which makes the atmosphere even more exhilarating. The table games are available from 8 pm to 4 am from Sunday to Thursday, and from 9 pm to 5 am on Friday, Saturday and evenings before public holidays. You can play:
- 3 tables with Blackjack with stakes starting from €5,
- 1 table with La Boule 2000 with stakes starting from €1,
- 2 tables with English Roulette with stakes starting from €2.
I can also satisfy my passion for Texas Hold'em poker, and there are three tables available for this poker game. You can play at them from:
- Monday to Thursday from 8 pm to 4 am (buy-in €50),
- Friday, Saturday and evenings before holidays from 9 pm to 5 am (buy-in €100),
- Sundays and holidays from 8 pm to 4 am (buy-in €100).
There are cash games and tournaments, the choice is yours!
Before concluding this section, I would like to note that, according to French law, access to the games room is only allowed to adults, who are not excluded from playing. It is necessary to present a valid ID upon entry.
Many other services aside from gambling
Of course, the establishment relies on the casino to attract many customers, but this is not the only thing that you can do there.
I often enjoy a drink between two games, or before going to dinner. I enjoy sitting in the cosy atmosphere of the lounge bar, and I find it is a very nice place. Different cocktails are on the menu, but what I enjoy most is the craft beer JOA that is brewed on site. Yes, you have heard right: the property also has a brewery, the only one in a casino! Two different beers are available, a light and a dark ale. I prefer the dark ale...
Although visiting the bar is a lot of fun, I cannot say the same about the restaurant Le Comptoir Joa. This modern bistro is open daily for lunch and dinner, and it invites to enjoy a fine brasserie cuisine... Well, at least on paper. The dishes are a little too canteen-like for my taste and they seem to just be warmed up. I am rather disappointed with this casino restaurant.
A dance floor
The dance floor is open on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before public holidays from 11 pm to 5 am, and you can go and dance to music played by a DJ. The management also plans to organise dinner shows, concerts and dance evenings.
So far, the range of activities are fairly basic for a casino, but it is not everything the casino has to offer. I was pleasantly surprised to also find that the casino offers bowling on 6 lanes. You can play on:
- Wednesday between 2 pm and 8 pm,
- Thursday and Friday between 2 pm and 1 am,
- Saturday and evenings before public holidays between 2 pm and 3 am,
- Sunday and holidays between 2 pm and 8 pm.
You can also find several arcade games at the casino, including pool billiard and driving simulation terminals, shooting games, and many more. There is something for everyone! The arcade games room is open every day, and you can have fun with family and friends. There are many games, and new games are regularly added to the selection.
When I was waiting at my table at the restaurant, I discovered another interesting place: a library where you can have a coffee, a tea or simply relax with magazines and board games. It is really nice to see new things!
Between Roanne and Saint-Etienne, and near Lyon
Many people will probably want to visit the establishment after reading this short overview of all the activities available at the Casino Joa de Montrond-les-Bains.
When you want to go there by car, you can go to Lyon first and then follow route A47 to Saint-Etienne and Andrezieux. Then take the A72 towards Roanne and take the exit for Montrond-les-Bains.
If you come by train, the nearest railway station is in Montrond-les-Bains, which is 15 minutes on foot away from the casino.
The nearest airport is Saint-Etienne, which is located around 20 minutes drive away from the casino.
Once you are there, the town of Montrond-les-Bains also offers various sights, such as an amazing medieval castle that is still standing today, thanks to the restoration works that have been carried over the last decades. The city is also full of spas offering body treatments, and saunas that will surely delight fans of relaxation and well-being.
A casino with great services
As I already said in the introduction, I like the Casino Joa de Montrond-les-Bains very much.
It is unquestionably a very nice place, with a great and modern design. The exterior architecture is very nice to look at and the interior is just as beautiful. The general atmosphere in the casino is bright and modern, which might be a little disappointing for people who prefer a more traditional look with carpets and a dimmer light.
What I like most about this establishment is, that it offers so many different options, and also family leisure activities. This means that there are customers from all backgrounds and ages visiting the establishment. Players who do not like the atmosphere of some casinos should feel very comfortable here, and they will surely have a nice evening.
The general atmosphere is very people-friendly, and the staff is professional, discreet and attentive, and they know how to smile too.
A small disappointment is that there is not a lot of parking, and the parking lot fills up very quickly on weekends.
However, I enjoyed the cleanliness of the establishment, and the outdoor smoking area that even has some slot machines on the terrace.
In conclusion, I would like to mention once again that the quality of the food in the restaurant was not very good. This is the only critique I have about the Casino Joa in Montrond-les-Bains.
The establishment offers many activities for gambling and other games, and it has a different atmosphere than most other casinos. In my opinion, it is a very special place and the atmosphere is very nice. I always enjoyed playing at this casino.
Route A72 - Exit Montrond-les-Bains.
15 minutes by foot from the train station of Montrond-les-Bains.
20 by car from the airport of Saint-Etienne.
Slot machines: every day from 9 am to 4 am, and until 5 am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays.
Table games: Sunday to Thursday from 8 pm to 4 am, and on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays from 9 pm to 5 am.