The Gambling History of Monte Carlo

With more disposable income and the speed of gaming development, the gambling history of Monte Carlo is wildly entertaining.

The Gambling History of Monte Carlo

One of my personal favorite ways to get through class is watching movies about history I don’t remember. Do you remember Sir Anthony Van Halen standing around with a guy shopping at a variety of slot machines and then knocking them over? That scene is still iconic. It’s everything that slots can be at that moment: excitement, fun and crazy adventures.

Varjarian mentioned in her writings “(…) Mont-eysannerie was originally built as a fortress protecting keys to Europe”. I know we’ve covered this section in depth before but with so many talking points surrounding Monte Carlo’s unique city kingdom – local culture, lifestyle etc., revisiting it now makes sense due to recent events.

Even though the British empire in India was a huge success, the gambling and club scene we very primitive compared to what it is today. It began changing when Jacques Casanova de Saint-Ange joined the company owning books about betting.

The gambling history of Monte Carlo is similar to the gambler’s fallacy that people including the people who are interested in gambling need to take their first betings other places.

The lack of an army on one side, and a decadent Burgundy government on the other spared them. In 1647, Tsar Alexis invited the mostly Protestant population to move away where they could be taxed into supporting Russia’s declining military expenditure.

Monte Carlo is an administrative area in Monaco, and is separated into two parts known as the quarter and the ward. The quarter has a population of 15,200 while the ward has a population of 3,500.

The city of Monte Carlo is a melting pot of cultures with the languages of English, Italian, Russian, German, and Japanese widely spoken here. It’s easy to find someone to communicate with no matter what language you speak.

Monte Carlo also has 300 days a year of sunshine and the highest police per capita rate in the whole world, making it one of the safest places to visit. With their state of the art high tech surveillance, crimes are almost non-existent.

Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino’s official name is Casino de Monte-Carlo and was opened 154 years ago in the year of 1863.

Princess Caroline, spouse of Prince Florestan I, was the first to come up with the idea of a casino in Monaco after they were facing bankruptcy in 1848 after the towns of Menton and Roquebrune declared independence from Monaco and refused to pay taxes.

In 1854, the son of Florestan, Charles, got together Albert Aubert and Napoleon Langlois, both Frenchmen, to draw up a proposal for a gambling casino, English-styled villas, and a spa that treated diseases. These plans would require 4 million francs to complete.

They were granted 30 years to operate this business and Aubert and Langlois opened a casino in a mansion in 1856. They opened it in Villa Bellevu, which they intended to be temporary location.

Only a year later in 1857, they sold their rights because of the lack of business. Business was hard to come by because there were few or no roads connecting Monaco to the Nice and the rest of Europe so they got far fewer guest than they had originally anticipated.

The rights to the casino and resort ended up with Pierre Auguste Daval. The establishment moved several times until they settled in an area names Les Spelugues, or The Caves. Construction started there in 1858 and finished in 1863.

The establishment started turning profit in the year of 1859 during construction but it was not to the scale that Princess Caroline wanted. She attempted to recruit Francois Blanc, who was the operator of the Bad Homburg casino in Germany, but he declined.

Through determination and persistence from Princess Caroline, Blanc finally agreed to take over the business in 1963. Blanc quickly grew the business and was the single majority stockholder. He got a 50-year concession which would end in 1913.

Blanc insisted on changing the name of the casino area, Spelugues, to something simpler and more attractive to casino visitors. The name was changed to Monte Carlo to honor Prince Charles.

Blanc’s changes to the construction in 1878-79 included adding a concert hall and expanding and redesigning the gaming rooms.

In 1880-1890 another gaming room was added and many parts of the building were remolded but the original Beaux Arts style still remains intact to this day.

Today the casino offers several different games including:

The casino today offers many amenities and activities including:

  • Gastronomy
  • Shopping
  • Monte-Carlo country club
  • Monte-Carlo gold club
  • Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo
  • Spa Cinq Mondes
  • Spa of the Monto-Carlo beach
  • The Olympic pool at the Monte-Carlo beach club
  • The lagoon and swimming pools at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
  • Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo pool
  • Monte-Carlo beach club

They also have several fine dining and cozy restaurants:

  • Salon Rose
  • Circus
  • Les Prives
  • Le Train Bleu
  • Monte-Carlo bay casino bar
  • Bar Des Prives
  • Bar Salle Europe
  • Bar Salle Blanche
  • And more

Gambler’s Fallacy

The gambler’s fallacy, which is also known as Monte Carlo fallacy and fallacy of the maturity of chances, is a belief that lost gamblers millions in a single night. The gambler’s fallacy is the belief that past behavior influences future behavior. It seems like a good belief on the surface, until you take it into a casino.

In 1913 in the Monte Carlo Casino, a player at the roulette table noticed that the ball kept falling into black, so everyone using the gambler’s fallacy threw their money on the table believing that it would have to land on red.

But it didn’t, for 26 spins in a row.

The more times the roulette wheel spun, the more gamblers bet. Then on the 27th spin it finally landed on red. Those winners rejoiced but made the mistake of following the Gambler’s fallacy and believing that because there was a black streak, there would now be a red one.

But there wasn’t, and over the course of the whole night gamblers using the gambler’s fallacy lost millions.

European Poker Tour

The European Poker Tour, or EPT, is a series of poker tournaments that holds their grand finale in Monte Carlo each year. EPT began in 2004 due to the increased popularity in Texas holdem. PokerStars has owned EPT since 2011 and works with Sunset + Vine television to broadcast the event to all of Europe.

Season 13 is currently on and is planning to use Monte Carlo for the grand finale as usual. Only 1 of 13 seasons has held their grand finale elsewhere and that was in season 7 the finale was held in Madrid.

Other Things to Do in Monte Carlo


Le Metrople, or Magic, shopping center is a three story mall with sweeping marble staircases, designer clothes, chandeliers and anything else your heart desires. They also have many pastry shops, restaurants and cafes for you to enjoy.


Japanese Gardens is a free admissions park that replicates the outdoors of Japan with mountains, hills, brooks, waterfalls, and beaches. There are many benches and areas to sit and enjoy the flowers or fish in the ponds. It’s close to the casino and can be walked from there to enjoy some fresh air.


The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is a museum and aquarium combined and it’s breathtaking. The aquarium features many different types of sea life both large and small and with more than 6,000 specimens in their reconstructed natural habitat. It’s one of the oldest aquariums in the world, with records as early as 1903.


The Private Collection of Antique Cars of H.S.H Prince Rainier III is on display in Monte Carlo and is listed as one of the top attractions. The collection spans from vintage to classic, and racing to Mercedes. They also have cars that are over 100 years old. Each car has a written history with it and there are even cars that have been featured in movies and driven by famous actors.


Boulingrins Gardens, or Jardin Du Casino, is in the casino square and is a garden that has a large variety of plants including many exotic species. You can enjoy the fish and ducks at the pond or a few high end shops that are nearby.


The Monaco Gran Prix is found in Monte Carlo and many events are held there throughout the year. You can practice on it one day and meat famous drivers the next.


Many different types of sports, events, and venues are available in Monte Carlo such as:

  • Louis II Stadium
  • The open-air Rainier III Nautical Stadium
  • Monte-Carlo Country Club
  • Windsurfing
  • Water-skiing
  • Ski bus
  • Sea scooters
  • Jet-ski
  • Wakeboard
  • Parachute rides
  • Sailing
  • Diving
  • Jogging
  • Hiking
  • Skiing
  • Rainer III Swimming Stadium
  • Monte-Carlo Gold Club
  • Tennis
  • Squash
  • Archery
  • Para-sailing
  • International Swimming Meetings
  • And Herculis


Plenty of yearly events occur in and around Monte Carlo such as:

  • January Monte-Carlo Rally
  • January International Circus Festival
  • March Monte-Carlo Opera
  • March Rose Ball
  • April Monte-Carlo Spring Arts Festival
  • April Monte-Carlo Rolex Tennis Masters
  • April Top Marques Monaco
  • May Monte-Carlo Historic Grand Prix
  • May Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix
  • June Feast of St. John
  • July Concerts at the Prince’s Palace
  • July/August Monte Carlo International Fireworks Festival
  • July/August Summer Festival at Le Sporting Club
  • August Monte-Carlo red Cross Gala Ball
  • September Monaco Yacht Show
  • September Monaco Classic Week
  • November Cross du Larvotto
  • November National Holiday
  • November Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival
  • December Monaco Dance Forum
  • December Christmas and New Year’s Festivities

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