the history of gambling halls in Italy

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San Remo

Italy is one of the nations with the most developed gaming culture, but few would know exactly why. Yet it was in this beautiful country that the first real casino in history was born, which inevitably ended up influencing the depopulated commerce in America. Although the boot is not among the main tourist destinations for green table enthusiasts, the amount of gambling in our country is still very high. Probably the most famous Italian city from this point of view is Sanremo, famous for the Song Festival held in February at the Ariston Theater. The Municipal Casino, formerly known as “Kursaal”, has been around for more than a century and registers thousands and thousands of customers every year.

The Casino of Sanremo is a historical building for Liguria and for all of Italy, protected as a real cultural asset, even by those who have no particular interest in gambling. On the other hand, the gaming rooms served once a meeting place for nobles and intellectuals. And to think that record poker tournaments still take place in Sanremo today. With regard to this room, among other things, there is a curious background that has not yet been fully explained: the reputation of the first casino in history is in fact disputed with Ca’ Vendramin in Venice, which was however built centuries earlier. . Veneto cinemas were indeed forced to close for a long time. In Venice, however, there is also Ca’ Noghera, perhaps the first to introduce slot machines to Italian players.

The historical context of the Casino di Campione d’Italia, used as a refuge during the First World War, is quite different. Between relocations and constant risk of bankruptcy, this casino has experienced a rather troubled evolution. As if that weren’t enough, many games that were already being played in the United States arrived in Campione later on, thus failing to capture the curiosity of Italian gamers. The casino officially went bankrupt in 2018 – an inglorious end to what was once considered the largest casino on the continent. Only a few months ago the premises reopened after 3 years of inactivity.

The Casino de la Vallée de Saint-Vincent, located in the Aosta Valley, is also worth mentioning. After taking over from the Grand Hôtel Billia, he made a name for himself by being among the first to discover electronic attractions. Like many other casinos, many cultural events have taken place here as well. Over time, however, the traditions associated with arcades have inexorably lost their way.

With the advent of the third millennium, digital platforms have sent a large part of the clientele to land-based casinos. Although an online casino with a live dealer is not comparable to a real room, many have begun to prefer the immediacy of the game at the click of a button. The biggest poker and roulette fans choose Las Vegas for their face-to-face games with the dealers.

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