The world’s first casino saw the light of day in Venice, Italy. The year was 1638 and the spectacular city of Venice finally caught some international attention. What makes the casino of Venice so special is the fact that the casino is spread out all over the city.
For obvious reasons, the Venice casino could not just build an extra wing if they want to expand its operations. I guess you can take the Vegas route and just buy the building next door, blow it up and then build a new branch in connection to your old casino, but that's not how it's done in Venice.
You had to wait for a new building to become vacant - and if that building was on the other side of town or down by the beach, so be it - that's the reason for why the Venice casino is spread out on three different locations of the city.
In the twentieth century, the Lido branch of Venice Casino opened up just by the beach (Lido is Italian for beach), and it still has a unique atmosphere reminiscent of the early thirties with the hotel's beautiful beachfront architecture.
The beach casino is surrounded by some amazing hotels, such as Hotel Excelsior and Des Bains, and up until the year 2000 this was the summer home of the Venice Gamblers.
Unfortunately, the casino has been closed for quite some time now, undergoing lavish restorations, but it is scheduled to reopen sometime soon.
Ca 'Vendramin Calergi
In the ‘50s, the Canal Grande Casino branch opened for business. Ca 'Vendramin Calergi, locally referred to as ‘The Doge' has been accommodated in the elegant and exclusive Doge's Palace, former residence of not only the former the Doge Of Venice, but also Richard Wagner, the world famous composer.
Ca ‘Vendramin is considered the central casino building of Venice and is located on the main waterway of the city.
Apart from a great gaming experience, this casino boosts enthralling cultural activities, which include gala dinners, concerts in the garden and events such as ballet and art shows.
The place was forever immortalized by the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio who portrayed the ‘Vendramin casino as a foggy cloud resting on the water.
In the late ‘90s, the latest addition to the Venice casinos opened up to the public. Ca ‘Noghera was the first Italian casino offering American games to its customers. This casino has a very informal and modern atmosphere, especially in comparison to the other casinos in the city.
So to sum it up; if you want to experience the gambling culture of Venice you will find it at three different locations, all with its unique charm.
All Venetian casinos are assembled under one slogan: un'emozione infinita, or ‘an infinite emotion'. The Casino of Venice is in other words a mix of avant-garde and tradition. The pay-off for this combination can only be explained as an infinite emotion.
Information and addresses
You have to be of at least the legal age of 18 to enter any of the Venetian casinos, and you must be able to show a valid ID-card at all times. Except for the currently closed Lido casino, which is usually open during the summer, all casinos are open until 2.30 am on weekdays and 3.00 am on weekends, with the exception of Christmas, when they stay closed. Entrance fee is €5.Ca 'Vendramin Calergi
Pallazzo Vendramin CaligeriCannaregio 2040 - 30121 (Venice) (A few minutes from Saint Lucia station) Phone 041-5297111
Via Paliaga 4 / 8 (Venice - Tessera)
Near the Marco Polo