Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco
The history of the casino goes back to 1854. In that year gambling was legalized by Prince Florestan I of Monaco. The first casino was set up in a villa, near the harbor. It opened its doors on December 14, 1856. It would become an important source of income for the mini-state as any form of roulette was prohibited at that time in France. It would be a long time before the casino would be a success, partly because Monaco was difficult to reach.
When Prince Karel III decided to build the new district of Monte Carlo, a new casino was also included in the plan. The architect Gobineau de la Bretonnerie was hired for this. He also designed the adjacent Hotel de Paris. On 13 May 1858, the first stone was laid by Crown Prince Albert I. The new building was opened on February 18, 1863. In 1878, the building was renovated and expanded by the architects Charles Garnier (who had also designed the Opéra Garnier in Paris) and Jules Dutrou. They gave the building its current appearance and added a concert hall, which had long been known as ‘Opera of Monte Carlo’.
The building was rebuilt several times after that time. The concert hall is named after Charles Garnier: the Salle Garnier. The casino is surrounded by gardens and has a terrace from which one can look up to Italy.