Five facts you never knew about the Casino de Monte-Carlo

Monaco is famous for many things – sea sunshine and supercars. However, one thing endures as Monaco’s most renowned feature; the stunning Belle Époque beauty that is the Casino de Monte-Carlo. Steeped in culture and history, the casino is recognised the world over as a playground of the rich and famous. However, beneath the glamorous decor lies a fascinating history. Here are five facts you may not have known about the Principality’s most renowned building.

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1) Originally constructed in the late 1850s, the Casino was not initially a success. Poor accessibility to other towns and a lack of suitable hotels in the Principality meant visitor numbers were minimal and it closed around a year later.

2) While tourists are welcomed through the doors in vast numbers, Monegasques are banned from entering the casino, including the royal family. This is to prevent Monaco natives from becoming addicted to gambling and in return, citizens of the Principality are granted tax-exempt status.

3) The popular 19th century British music hall song “The man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo” by Charles Coborn, was inspired by legendary casino winner, Charles Wells. In 1891, with an initial stake of £4,000, Wells won approximately £60,000, allegedly ‘breaking the bank’ six times in three days.

4) The casino has been turned into a film set on several occasions. Ocean’s Twelve, GoldenEye and Never Say Never Again all featured the casino in their productions.

5) The first ever Women’s Olympiad was held at the casino gardens in 1921. The games were organized by Alice Milliat and Camille Blanc as a response to the International Olympics Committee’s decision not to include women’s events in the 1924 Olympic Games.