Monte Carlo Casinos Guide

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MARCH 29: A general view is seen of Port Hercule, March 30, 2005 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)Mention Monte Carlo and something akin to a fairy tale comes to mind. Often referred to as the gem of the Mediterranean, it has long been the playground of the rich and famous. In 1956, the marriage between Monaco’s Prince Rainier and ex-Hollywood actress, Grace Kelly, captured the romance of Monte Carlo in the world’s imagination once and for all.

Established in 1866, Monte Carlo is the best known of the four quarters of Monaco. Monaco itself covers less than a single square mile, about a fifth of which has been reclaimed from the sea.

Today, Monte Carlo is known as a tax haven. Coupled with its idyllic location on the Mediterranean, just minutes from the French and Italian Rivieras, it’s not surprising that Monte Carlo is now home to some of the world’s wealthiest business people. Its Mediterranean climate means balmy summers and mild winters.

Monte Carlo Casinos

In the mid-nineteenth century, Prince Charles III of Monaco commissioned the building of the elaborate and opulent Monte Carlo Casino in his tiny principality. The casino was designed by Charles Garnier, the legendary architect who also designed the magnificent Paris Opera House. The part of Monaco on which the casino is built was named after Charles III, becoming Monte Carlo. Since then, Monte Carlo has come to symbolize glamour, international sophistication and, of course, gambling.

Monte Carlo now boasts a total of four top-notch casinos, each with a distinctive personality – although there’s no true rival for the original Monte Carlo Casino. All the casinos offer roulette, card games, other table games and gaming machines in lavish surroundings, and many include separate rooms for the really high-rolling games. In 2008, Monte Carlo will be hosting the Season Four European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final, due to be televised throughout Europe.

Attractions

For visitors, Monte Carlo offers more than just stylish gambling. It includes many beautiful and historic buildings – not least of which is the Prince du Palais, a lively arts and cultural scene, plenty of nightlife and attractions associated with its prime position on the Mediterranean. See Monte Carlo attractions and Monte Carlo events for details.

Monte Carlo also hosts top sporting events, including the world-famous Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, the Monte Carlo Rally and the Monte Carlo Masters, featuring the best of men’s tennis.

Population and Language

International visitors far outnumber Monte Carlo’s permanent population, which stands at only about 3000.

French is the official language, but English and Italian are also widely spoken. “Le Monegù”, the traditional language of Monaco, is still taught in local schools but is mostly spoken only by older residents. Euro is the official currency.