The Principality of Monaco, a glittering jewel on the Mediterranean, is home to the iconic Monte Carlo Casino (Casino de Monte-Carlo). Perched on high ground, the 1865 grand building is the epitome of La Belle Époque style exuding ornate opulence. At night, when the city sparkles with lights and vibrates with the hum of wealthy, beautiful people, it is easy to be drawn to the casino’s glow like a moth to a flame. Before you lay down your first chip, it is wise to have a plan of action. Below are some of Monte Carlo Casino dress code and other rules and tips I’d like to share.
And before you ask — yes, I did put money down and came out empty-handed — but it was an excellent adventure.
8 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Monaco’s Monte Carlo Casino
Casino De Monte-Carlo
From its perch on the hillside, the views of the Casino de Monte-Carlo are spectacular. Stunning homes, fancy cars, and fashionable passersby exude a high net worth. More than just a gaming house, the casino is also home to the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
Guests can visit the Casino de Monte-Carlo property without entering the gaming rooms and enjoy a “cultural experience.” You can gape at the artfully decorated Atrium and then enjoy a latté at the Café de la Rotonde; it is a great way to absorb the feel of the casino without paying to access the rooms. The glittering gold-encrusted decor is nothing short of exuberant flights of fancy.
1. Casino Entrance
Begin your adventure at the Place du Casino (Casino Square), an expansive plaza at the front entrance of the Casino de Monte-Carlo. The plaza is filled with tourists happily snapping pictures while expensive Ferraris, Bentleys, and Rolls Royces zip between the casino and the Hotel de Paris.
Periodically, the blockade barriers encircling the casino are lowered and a high roller’s automobile is allowed to enter and park in one of the few spots inside the casino plaza. You will know when it happens because paparazzi swarm the car hoping to get a coveted picture of a rich and famous patron.
On my first visit, I was taking in all the glitz and glamor of the Atrium when I was whisked aside (gently shoved) for a special someone who had come to try their luck. It happened so quickly and so efficiently, I didn’t know what was going on until it was over. It is an amazing spot to people watch; you may even encounter some of the stars who want to see and be seen.
The Atrium is free to visitors beginning at 10:00 a.m. It is a beautiful spot to wander around and sport an awestruck expression at the over-the-top opulence. The gift shop is in the Atrium and open between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Accompanied children are allowed in the Atrium space until 2 p.m.
Pro Tip: The drivers around Casino Square are not fond of pedestrians — be swift when crossing the roadway.
2. Gaming Room Access
Accessing the gaming rooms requires a valid national identity card or passport — drivers licenses are not an acceptable form of identification. The entrance fee is under $20 per person. If you visit in the morning, save your ticket; you can use it to re-enter after 2 p.m. and try your luck at the game tables or slot machines.
You can enter the Casino de Monte-Carlo gaming space from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. for viewing the rooms only and you must pay the casino entrance fee. There is an audio-guided tour that will enhance your casino visit. It is part of the early morning “cultural experience.”
Pro Tip: The gaming tables begin opening at 2 p.m. Guests must be 18 years or older to enter the casino.
3. Gaming Rooms
Guests can play traditional games like slots, Blackjack, Craps, English Roulette, and Texas Poker Hold’em. Additionally, you can try your hand at something new like the French Roulette table or the Punto Banco table.
Several different rooms, or salles, separate the types of games and the patrons’ VIP status.
The Salle Medicin is a private space where over-the-top galas, dinners, and concerts are held. The Salle Europe is the grand showcase of the casino spaces with an elegant lounge bar, music, and bustling gaming tables. The Salle des Amériques and the Salle Renaissance are filled with the blinking neon and the tinkling noise of winning slot machines. The Salle Blanche, the ultimate in rooms for gaming, is for the casino’s high-roller VIPs. It takes gambling the night away to a brand new level.
When valets aren’t parking Ferraris and Maseratis and things are slow, they wait or rest in a small room nicknamed the Morgue. The legend has it that the room was used in the past to stack the bodies of luckless, desperate gamblers, who after losing their fortune immediately killed themselves with a pistol shot, while still seated right there at the gaming tables.
There is no need to feel out of place in the opulently decorated casino. They happily take everyone’s money! Visitors are expected to be courteous and well-mannered during the morning visits and while gaming. You do, however, see plenty of awestruck tourists along with seasoned gamblers occupying the casino floor.
6. Fine Dine At the Casino
In addition to the bars, there are two restaurants, Train Bleu and Salon Rose. Le Train Bleu received the 2023 European Casino Awards for the best casino. You can have seafood of all kinds and seasonal products like artichokes, cepes, and aubergines. However, it is best known for its gourmet take on fine Italian cuisine. It is open from Thursday to Sunday, evenings only.
Salon Rose used to be a literary salon, and it still retains the charm of those timeless moments of erudite conversation. Niches, alcoves, its seaside terrace, and pearled ornaments are reminders of its delightful history. It’s open for lunch and dinner, every day from noon to and from 7 pm to midnight. You will love the view of the sea while dining.
7. Monte Carlo Casino Dress Code
The dress code at Casino de Monte-Carlo varies from time of day and each particular salle. If you want to gamble, smart casual wear is always a good choice.
You may enter the Atrium in chic-casual attire during the cultural experience hours. We saw plenty of tourists in shorts happily snapping photos at this time of day. There is no strict dress code that forbids dressy Bermuda shorts, T-shirts, and sports shoes. No jeans with holes, tank tops, sweatshirts, sweatpants, sportswear, beachwear, men’s sandals, flip-flops, or trainers.
When it comes to entering the gaming areas, strict adherence to the dress code is required. If you are not in appropriate attire, you will not be allowed access.
A more strict dress code for afternoon and evening gambling, depending on the gaming room, allows for dark jeans and dark sports shoes. Shorts, T-shirts, short-sleeve shirts, and sweatshirts are not allowed, let alone flip-flops, so if you’ve spent the day exploring Monte Carlo, be sure to change before.
Pro Tip: Some rooms require men to wear a jacket.
8. James Bond
When you think of James Bond movies like GoldenEye, you think of Monte Carlo. Some of the filming took place in this glamorous spot. The Casino de Monte-Carlo was featured in Never Say Never Again. For 007 buffs, you will love the inspirational vibe that supposedly moved Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale Bond adventure.
There is little doubt that Monte Carlo’s iconic casino would be the perfect backdrop for any of Bond’s exploits. It is a glittery, show-stopping work of art. You can easily envision Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, or any of the other Bonds taking a seat at the high-roller table and ordering his iconic Vesper Martini “shaken, not stirred.”
9. Hotel Du Paris Monte Carlo
Directly across the street from the casino is the Hotel du Paris. For as little as $16,000 a night, you can stay in the Diamond Suite with a sea view. This is the spot where celebs, royalty, and extravagant high rollers rest their weary heads in Monaco.
Rumor has it there is a tunnel from the hotel to the casino allowing the rich and famous to access the gaming rooms undetected by the paparazzi. While I have not seen this room nor access to the tunnel, I would love to have the opportunity one day.
Visiting Casino De Monte-Carlo
Whether you are zipping around the Mediterranean coastline of the Côte d’Azur or cruising the Mediterranean on a luxury yacht, you would be remiss if you didn’t make a stop in Monaco and include visiting Monte Carlo Casino in your itinerary. Like one of the seven wonders of the world, it is a must-see for anyone who loves travel, architecture, glitz, glamor, gaming, or simply experiencing a show-stopping moment.
If you are not a gambler, there are still plenty of things to see and do. You can stop at the casino for a quick look as long as you follow the strict dress code and other casino rules. You will find great options in our guide on Monaco.
Which Famous Books And Films Were Inspired By The Monte Carlo Casino?
Monte Carlo Casino has inspired several books and films, including the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale (1953), and the Bond movies Never Say Never Again (1983) and GoldenEye (1995) were filmed at the casino.
Are Locals Allowed To Play In the Monte Carlo Casino?
No, local Monaco citizens cannot access the casino and are not allowed to play at the casino themselves. This was enacted into law in 1987 to prevent dealers from seeing their own families at the tables and thus getting into a “suspicious” situation.
Why Many Go to the Hôtel de Paris Before Visiting Monte Carlo Casino?
Many casino goers drop by the Hôtel de Paris before they take their chances in the Monte Carlo Casino because of the famed statue of Louis XIV. The statue is believed to bring good luck to those who rub the king’s horse’s knee.
What Are the Minimum and Maximum Betting Amounts in Monte Carlo Casino?
The minimum you can bet in the main casino hall is €5 and the maximum is €3000. If you take your gaming to a private room, the minimum bet is raised to €10, and, expectedly, there is no upper limit on maximum bets.
What Can I See For Free In Monte Carlo Casino?
Anyone can enter the Monte-Carlo Casino building for free to have a look at the atrium, which is admittedly grand in itself. You can also have a free look into the Salle Renaissance, a slot machines room.