Throughout the ages, we’ve seen some incredibly architectural trends, from the French Deco buildings of the 1920s and 1930s to the concrete-led structures that characterised the age of ‘brutalism’ and emerged during the 1950s.
Unsurprisingly, there are also some beautifully designed, brick-and-mortar casinos in existence, especially in countries like Italy which combine a love of architecture with a rich gambling heritage.
The best online casinos, which in Italy are called “migliori”, don’t have such striking visual features, of course. This is something to be said in favour of brick-and-mortar casinos, and we’ve taken the time to list some of the most visually impressive such structures below!
#1. The Casino di Venezia, Venice
We’ll start with the Casino di Venezia, which is not only beautiful from an architectural perspective but also boasts the richest history of gambling in Italy.
This is considered by historians to be the oldest casino in the world, having first opened in 1638 and remains a popular tourist attraction among both avid gamblers and non-gamblers alike.
In terms of the structure, this is a classic Renaissance building, and one that’s built on core characteristics like the precise ratio of height and width and the desire to create aesthetically pleasing and symmetrical entities.
If you’re a passionate fan of renaissance buildings, you’ll also be impressed with the structure’s interior and the maintenance of a consistent, visual style throughout.
Initially, the Casino di Venezia was part of the Theatre Saint Moses, enabling theatre goers to indulge some of their favourite gambling pastimes during intermissions. Interestingly, this was the only location in Italy where controlled gambling was legal in the 1600s, and it retains cult-like status among Italians as a result.
Nowadays, both American and French table games are available to patrons, with blackjack, roulette and baccarat particularly popular.
What’s more, there are in excess of 600 slot machines on the floor, while until recently the venue played host to the World Poker Your Venice Carnival Tournament.
This is one of several poker and card tournaments hosted on-site every single week, so it manages to combine both practical and aesthetic appeal for gamblers nationwide.
#2. The Casino Admiral Mendrisio
Located relatively close to The Alps, the Casino Admiral Mendrisio is one of the most picturesque and culturally unique locations of its type in the world (never mind Italy!).
In terms of the venue’s aesthetic, this entity is considered to be a genuine feat of Roman architecture, as you can tell from its striking arches and eye-catching, straight columns.
Because of its location, the Casino Admiral Mendrisio can be accessed seamlessly through both Italy and Switzerland, resulting in a unique meld of cultures and outlooks that has shaped the building’s evolution through the years.
This century’s old structure certainly maintains an undeniable sense of majestic ambiance throughout, while the use of towering white pillars to guard the entrance and stunning works of sculpture contribute to a highly aspirational experience for visitors.
Inside, you’ll find 24 table games in play at the venue, while various iterations of blackjack, roulette and baccarat once again remain the most dominant verticals here.
The blackjack tables are available with variable minimum bet limits, starting at €5 and peaking at €50. The latter tables are clearly designed for high rollers, while they’ll typically feature a maximum bet limit of €1000 per hand.
There’s even a ‘Punto Banco’ table for the baccarat lovers among you, while some 340 gaming machines (namely slot and video poker entities) are located across the length and breadth of the interior.
Most of these machines are slots that use an innovative ticket system, while four live jackpots are paid out daily up the sum of €25,000 on average!
#3. The Casinò Municipale di Campione d’Italia
Engulfed completely by Switzerland’s mountainous and picturesque surroundings, the casino was initially founded in 1917 as a site to gather information from foreign diplomats during World War II.
Interestingly, the casino was dramatically revamped by Swiss architect Mario Botta, who wanted to maintain the structure’s functionality while creating a modern and non-invasive aesthetic.
The new structure was built adjacent to the old structure, which had dated back to 1933 and become a cultural icon within the nation’s boundaries.
The external finish of the new structure, in golden stone slabs, provides the ideal link between 20th-century and previous generations, while creating an eye-catching look that’s befitting of the venue.
The new interior featured floor space of more than 55,000 square metres, enabling the venue owners to provide 56 tables and some 500 slot machines.
The table games in play are roulette, blackjack and baccarat, while players can also access titles such as chemin de fer and poker if they so desire, and in this respect, it offers one of the most diverse gambling experiences in the whole of Italy.