Online gambling and remote betting continue to be big business in Italy, with the countries combined iGaming sector growing by a whopping 46.1% through 2021.
Not only is Italy one of the key drivers of Europe’s iGaming market, but it’s offline casinos also boast a rich and long-standing heritage.
To this end, there remain a number of beautifully designed casino structures in Italy. So, even if now they’re online for the most part and gamblers are able to access a huge range of Italian online casino locations, you can still enjoy an interactive offline experience nationwide.
But what are the best casino architectures that have been designed by Italians? Let’s get into it!
#1. The Casino di Venezia
If you look at much of Italy’s most inspirational architecture, much of this was designed and built during the Renaissance period of the 15th and 16th centuries.
This includes the Casino di Venezia, which is located in Venice and was designed by the brilliant architect Mauro Codussi (who happened to design some of the most beautiful churches in Venice).
Of course, the city itself is widely considered to be one of Italy’s most beautiful locations, but it’s also home to one of the best casinos in Italy.
Interestingly, the Casino di Venezia is also the oldest gambling establishment in the country, having initially been opened way back in 1638 and served both locals and international visitors for centuries.
Situated just 20 minutes from the Piazza San Marco, it’s set in the Vendrami Calergi Palace, which used to be renowned as the home of Italian royalty. Because of this, it retains mezzanine floors and its quaint, avant-garde charm, along with some classically designed columns that face out towards the iconic Grand Canal.
Just as you would at any online casino in Italy, you’ll find a broad range of games and tables available at the Casino di Venezia. For example, you can play both American and European iterations of roulette, alongside poker, baccarat and even chemin de fer.
What’s more, there are more than 600 slot machines located at the venue, making it one of the busiest establishments in the competitive Italian casino vertical.
#2. The Casino di Campione
Technically, the town of Campione is an enclave in the Swiss region of Ticino, and remains geographically separated from Italy by Lake Lugano.
However, it’s situated just 60 kilometres away from the Italian heartland of Milan, and has become an epicentre of activity for gamblers due to the location’s liberal betting laws and status as a tax-haven for punters and operators alike.
The town casino was designed by architect Mario Botta, and formally erected prior to World War II. It was further extended as recently as 2008 too, with the bones of the original structure demolished and replaced with a brand-new set of buildings.
The new design was cultivated to promote comfort and welcome throughout, while the spectacular architecture offers access to 55,000 square metres and nine separate gambling floors. There are even three levels of underground parking, so this is an immense structure that’s truly larger than life.
By night, the structure was always visible across the striking Lake Lugano, creating a famous and iconic landmark that’s utterly breathtaking.
However, the failure to repay tax contributions to the government saw the casino officially declared bankrupt on July 27th 2018, before being closed down completely in January the following year.
Fortunately, it was subsequently reopened in June 2021, offering a range of casino games such as French roulette, chemin fer, blackjack, poker and craps.
#3. The Casino de la Valle
If you’re planning a trip to Italy, you could do far worse than visit the small, quaint and semi-autonomous region of Valle d’Aosta in the northwestern part of Italy.
Here, you’ll find the fabulously constructed Casino de la Valle, which is uniquely situated in the heart of the Italian Alps and surrounded by the four highest mountain peaks in Europe.
Before we take a closer look at the architecture, it’s interesting to note that this casino was made famous in the 60s by legendary James Bond Sean Connery.
In 1963, the Scot paid a famous visit to the casino’s roulette table, laying down three consecutive bets in the number 17. Incredibly, the number came in on each occasion, at individual odds of 37:1 and a payout of 35:1.
The cumulative odds of this happening were a mere 50,653/1, while Connery earned a cool 17 million lire (or £160,000 in today’s English money) for his troubles.
Thanks to the casino’s picturesque location, romanticised nature and famous hot springs, the Casino de la Valle remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. The structure was actually built during World War II, after Elijah Page (the acting mayor at the time) suggested that building a casino would help lift the spirits of besieged citizens.
The modern iteration of the casino simply screams tradition and modernity, with various gambling rooms, bars and a stunning restaurant distributed beautifully across 43,000 square feet.
Incredibly, you’ll also find around 600 slot machines and 90 table games located at the Casino de la Valle, the latter of which include blackjack, craps, Punto Blanco and Caribbean stud poker.
Featured Image Credit: Dennis Jarvis on Flickr