A Virtual Visit to The World’s Oldest Casino

Venice, Italy, is somewhere that most of us have on our bucket lists, whether it be for a romantic getaway, or to visit the historic buildings. A prime example of just one piece of history in the heart of Venice, right on the edge of the Grand Canal, is the world’s first casino.

Known as the Casino di Venezia, the building first opened its doors in 1638, but at first, the 15th century palace was built with different intentions…

If a plane ticket to Italy seems like a bit of a far-cry, then fear not, because not only can you play a variety of the classic games like Roulette and Blackjack at a casino online, but we’re about to take you on a whistle-stop tour of the Casino di Venezia.

The Original Building

The three-story palace which stands proudly over the Grand Canal was designed by architect Mauro Codussi, at the request of an Italian nobleman named Andrea Loredan.

The building captures the beauty of Renaissance architecture, displaying wealth and greatness through ceilings with frescoes, paintings by famous Italian painters, and walls hand-crafted by famous artists.

Theatre Saint Moses

The building was built with the intention of housing a theatre – the Theatre Saint Moses. This was opened in 1638, which is where the story of our casino begins.

It was during the intermissions of plays that both the spectators and actors ventured into a second wing to gamble. This gambling establishment was known as Ca’Vendramin Calergi.

The idea was that this casino was accessible to people of all classes, but in reality, only the wealthy could afford to adhere to the elegant dress code and betting requirements.

Prior to this, there was no need for gambling to be legalized, but when the Theatre Saint Moses sparked the start of the casino craze in the 1700s, local authorities decided to regulate the activities in order to tax it.

Despite this success, the Government decided to ban gambling in 1774, and the casino was forced to close.

Casino di Venezia

From 1774 to 1959, there was no casino in this now-iconic building. In fact, it housed the Italian King and Royal family for some time.

The palace was resold a few times over the years, more recently to famous German composer Richard Wagner, who rested here from 1858 until his death in 1883.

In 1946, the building became state property of the city. It was renovated and re-opened as a casino in 1959 – the Casino di Venezia – paying homage to its early history.

Visiting the casino

In the modern-day, the Casino di Venezia is still open to the public. Not only can you explore the history within the walls of this incredible palace, but you can also expect to find a very formal, classic casino experience. Popular games like Roulette, French Roulette, Chemin de Fer and Blackjack can be enjoyed within the elegant rooms. The Wagner and Marco Polo restaurants provide the finishing touches we didn’t know we needed.


Now that you’ve caught a glimpse inside one of the most iconic casinos in gaming history, do you think you’ll be planning a visit anytime soon? Or will you stick to the more accessible, futuristic experience of playing casino games online?