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Gamble the holidays away

by Marcello Parmeggiani last modified 2009-09-29 09:07

Even when the chips were down during the war Italy's casinos kept their doors open to a public trying to escape from the harsh realities of everyday life. Italy's four casinos still draw crowds ready to risk their money in the hope that Lady Luck will look their way.

Italy's CasinosThe Saint-Vincent Casino is a popular destination with Italian gamblers. Located in the magnificent surrounds of the Valle d’Aosta, the Casino has been turning cards and tossing dice since 1947 with a staggering (Casino's own figures) 800,000 visitors per year. Saint-Vincent can thank the Regione Autonoma della Valle d'Aosta for its 90 card tables and 440 slot machines which are well advertised through a series of card drives and tournaments throughout the area. Entrance to the casino costs 5 Euros on weekdays and holidays, 10 Euros on Saturdays and before holidays. There is a bus link from Milan to the Casino which can be booked at the Vita Tour agency (+39-02-39214779). Contact the agency for prices and times.

The Campione d'Italia Casino (Italian only) is in a rather odd location. The casino is in the Italo-Swiss town of Campione on the lake of Lugano. To get there you have to cross the border at Brogeda (Milan-Como motorway). There's an interesting section dedicated to gambling rules as well as a news page on the casino's website. It goes without saying that the news focuses on the lucky winners who head home with their pockets stuffed with money (that is if they haven't opened a bank account in Switzerland before they leave).

Sanremo seems to be the poor relation of Italy's more famous casinos, although it now boasts its own website (with some well-hidden parts in English). The casino's turnover for the eight months of 2001 was 115 million Euros, with a 10% drop in gamblers with respect to the previous year. Built by the architect Eugène Ferret in 1905 it has a prominent position in the town's centre. It still has an inviting air despite its age and offers a wide range of entertainment.

Venice's Casino is Italy's highest earner and looks to continue that way with its new seat in Malta. The Venice casino opens from 11am until dawn and offers a range of slot machines and gambling halls. Dress, according to the site, can be casual but we recommend you bring a jacket. You can write to assistenza for all the gambling information you may need. Well, maybe not all . . .

Contact the individual casinos for opening times. All casinos will be closed on December 24thand 25th.
We bet they'll be full after that!
Try your luck - - Is luck on your side? Find out before you place your bet.
Campione d'Italia - - More about the area
Sanremo - - Sanremo council site.

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