Monte Carlo Casino
The Monte Carlo Casino is one of the most notable buildings in Monaco. The casino complex is a gambling facility which also includes the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo, an opera and ballet house, and the office of the Ballets de Monte Carlo. It is situated in the Monte Carlo district, although the citizens of Monaco are forbidden to enter the gaming rooms. It hosts the annual European Poker Tour Grand Final. The casino is owned by the Société des bains de mer de Monaco ( Euronext: MC0000031187), a public company in which the government has a majority interest. This corporation also owns the principal hotels and nightclubs of the community that serve the tourist trade. The route of the Monaco Grand Prix (the Circuit de Monaco) is past the casino. The Monte Carlo methods, a class of random sampling algorithms, were named for the casino.

The casino has facilities to play a variety of games which include:

The casino was designed by the architect Charles Garnier, who also created the Paris opéra. It has a distinctly Beaux Arts style.

During 1854 gambling was legalized by Prince Florestan I. The first casino was opened during 1856 in a villa near the harbour. Prince Charles III ordered the construction of a new complex named Monte Carlo. A new casino was also part of this plan. The construction of the current building started during 1858. To make the casino more successful a 50-year concession to operate the gaming rooms was granted to a private individual named François Blanc during 1861. The new facility opened during 1863. Since 1898 the concession has been operated by the Société des Bains de Mer. During 1910 the building was expanded with a theatre.

Breaking the bank
  • during 1873, Joseph Jagger gained the casino great publicity by "breaking the bank at Monte Carlo" by discovering and capitalizing on a bias in one of the casino's roulette wheels. Technically, the bank in this sense was the money kept on the table by the croupier. According to an article in The Times during the late 19th century, it was thus possible to "break the bank "several times. The 1892 song The Man that Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo, made famous by Charles Coburns, was probably inspired by the exploits of Charles Wells, who "broke the bank" on many occasions on the first two of his three trips.
  • According to the book Busting Vegas by Ben Mezrich, a team of blackjack players recruited from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by team-leader Victor Cassius attempted to break the bank at Monte Carlo with the assistance of a team-play-based system. The book describes how the management of Monte Carlo responded to the progress of the team, whose members included Semyon Dukach and others mentioned by aliases.

The casino in movies
  • James Bond, fictional British spy and protagonist of the Bond book and movie series, is often associated with the city's glamorous Belle Époque casino. This was a model for the setting of Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, Casino Royale (1953), 'Royale-Les-Eaux' being a fictional resort in the style of Monte Carlo. The real Monte Carlo and its casino provided one of the locations for the James Bond movies, Never Say Never Again , and GoldenEye , and served as the setting in the CBS "Climax!" episode, Casino Royale .