MONTE CARLO - A GAMING MECCA

While Its appearance doesn’t reflect it, the site of Monte Carlo is actually one of the oldest areas of Europe to demonstrate human habitat. There’s strong indication, in fact, that human settlement in that area could trace its history back to the Stone Age. Yet formal settlement seems only to have been established at about the Iron Age, with the Ligurian Monoikos having colonized the location and entrenched themselves – and in the process, given Monaco its name. The first evidence of human colonization is presently fixed at about the sixth century B.C., though Monaco’s modern (formal) history actually began at about 1215, when a colony, originally from the Republic of Genoa, was formed within the territory of the principality, under the governance of Fulco del Cassello.

Panorama of La Condamine and Monte Carlo

© Panorama of La Condamine and Monte Carlo

In 1850, the Royal House of Grimaldi, then the dominant political force of the area, was desperate for cash, and to that end, sought to build a casino in hopes of alleviating their crippling debt. It was then that the future Prince of Monaco, Charles III, assembled a team of Frenchmen to develop a plan for funding the project – a funding which required four million francs. However, the lack of publicity and of public transport, resulted in a failure to provide Charles with the revenue he needed. In consequence, the casino rights were passed on to Pierre Auguste Daval during the noted year of 1850. A tale was later circulated that Daval (or perhaps one the later casino operators) had gained their initial casino operating expertise at Baden Baden, before being run out of town by a furious population who, in time, had become desperately indebted to the enterprise. So it was that upon establishing their next gaming actitivty at Monte Carlo, they insisted that the principality pass a law, that no citizen of Monaco could ever enter the casino – not even the royal family. This ruling stands, to the present day.

Charles III of Monaco

Charles III of Monaco

The casino actually started to gain momentum in 1878 when it’s principle building was enlarged, employing the designs of two renowned architects. Finally, by the 20th century, the casino had become well established, at the Grand Theatre de Monte Carlo and in the offices of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. From then on, these efforts matured into the basis for the primary source of wealth for the entire economy of Monaco – creating the most iconic casino environment in modern history, and attracting an enormous range and variety of guests – and gamers – from throughout Europe, and beyond.

This world-famous casino is currently operated under the management of the Société des Bains de Mer, and players are offered a range of choices, at a variety of gaming activities from Roulette and Baccarat, to such pedestrian events as slot machine tournaments.