Almost every country in the world has casinos, it’s big business internationally. The French are no different. There are currently more than 160 licensed casinos in France, part of an industry that generates more than £26 billion annually, a destination on par with Las Vegas.
Paris: Association Cercle Central
The Central Cercle, on the rue Frochot, is located in central Paris near some of the city’s most iconic destinations. They’re serious about the gambling here: the entrance fee alone is 100€. Moreover, it’s strictly old school here: there are no electronic tables or slot machines.
Inside you’ll find Texas Hold’em, punto banco, stud poker, blackjack, Omaha, and dealer’s choice. Being in France, of course, there is the favourite, European roulette. If you hit the casino with a solid roulette strategy, maybe a five number bet, then you’ll find your trip to Paris particularly fruitful.
Monaco: Casino de Monte Carlo
In the southeast of France, on the blue Mediterranean, is the stunningly beautiful principality of Monaco, administered by France, but an independent state. Where the chalky mountains meet the ocean, the locale alone is worth a visit. Happily, there’s more.
The Casino de Monte Carlo was opened in 1863 by the Monegasque royal family, seeking to attract tourists from all over Europe. And it worked: they came from Russia, Austria, England, and beyond, and the House of Grimaldi was saved from bankruptcy.
Long before the dawn of gambling in the United States, Monaco was a center wealth and extravagance, reflected in the casino’s architecture and decor. The draw of Monaco was strong, not only for the real-life gambling tourists, but also the fictional, be it books, such as Ian Fleming’s James Bond, or in films, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief.
When you go, be ready to dress up: there’s a dress code, and you’ll appreciate it when you find yourself elbow to elbow with some of the upper echelons of European society.
The resort will not disappoint: spread over 106,000 square feet is more than 56 traditional gaming tables and over 140 different gaming machines. The main fare is blackjack, roulette, and poker—appropriate for the traditional gambler. And why not? Well dressed, on the Mediterranean, at one of the most iconic gambling locations; that’s how it should be.
Eastern France: Casino Le Lyon Vert in La Tour de Salvagny
The Rhone-Alps region in eastern France, bordering Italy and Switzerland, is one of France’s hidden secrets. Here is a chance to visit several casinos. The first of these is the Casino le Lyon Vertin in the town of La Tour de Salvagny. Because you’re in alpine France, there is the stunning scenery and excellent food, but also there is the casino itself: roulette wheels in all forms: traditional video, English, and the very French, la boule; the traditional card games including blackjack and poker. Like many casinos, Casino Le Lyon Vert has lovely accommodations and excellent restaurants.
Eastern France: Domaine de Divonne Casino on Divonne Les Bains
The second casino you should consider visiting is the Domaine de Divonne Casino in Divonne Les Bains, located very close to Lake Geneva and the Swiss border. The casino is home to a convention center, a fitness club, five restaurants, and three bars. Within the 36,000 square foot complex are hundreds of game tables including blackjack and Punto Blanco, as well as hundreds of electronic gaming machines.
There is valet service available service available for patrons, and the recommended dress code is smart casual. There is no entry fee, no minimum bet: the casino welcomes all forms of gamblers from casual betters to high rollers.
France Overseas: the Grand Casino de Nouméa on New Caledonia
France isn’t just in Europe: its overseas holdings mean that the country has the most time zones. For a bit of French culture in the tropics, consider a trip to New Caledonia, which was annexed by France in 1853, and now has a status of the protectorate, which includes parliamentary representation. Nouméais the largest city and capital of New Caledonia.
The 6,400 square foot Grand Casino is surrounded by tropical gardens and overlooks the golden beaches of Anse Vata. The beautiful exterior setting is matched by the interior, with everything you’d expect: European roulette, blackjack, and poker, along with 210 slot machines.
It’s not every day you go to the south Pacific and New Caledonia. But if you’re lucky enough to be there, why not stop in and indulge your betting urges?