The Exclusive Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino

Dressing for Monte Carlo

Due to my informal dress, I couldn’t peek beyond the lobby of the famed Monte Carlo Casino. I saw serious high-rollers show up in serious attire — weighed down by heavy jewelry.

They could roam as they pleased. Lacking the proper business suits or dresses, required attire for European casinos, I, the traveling slob was expected to amuse myself at the slot machines in the lobby. No matter. Once inside such a magnificent building, I couldn’t help but feel regal. I was surrounded by frescoes, bas-reliefs and sculptures.

The atrium is gold marble. It’s impossible not to gasp. In my ragged jeans, I watched sheiks and movie stars skirt past me on their way to the big-time rooms where millions were pocket change. Pretending not to be star-struck, I dug out my handfuls of coins to play.

My First Bet in the Casino

The first coin yielded nothing. The one-armed bandit gobbled it and didn’t even burp. It was hard not to get distracted. Glitter was everywhere, but that’s par for the tiny Principality of Monaco – its capital Monte Carlo even more so.

Talk about elegance. Who could afford local hotels? Nobody I know. No matter, tourists booked at popular hotels in France could get to Monte Carol in 15 about minutes, a mere hop, skip and a jump away.

Maybe I gawked a little at the designer gowns and diamonds in my midst. I inserted my second coin and could almost hear my mother telling me not to waste my money. The second silvery token suffered the same fate as the first and disappeared from sight. Other tourists were faring no better.

Gambling Downhill

After depositing my third coin, I became enthralled in the crystal chandeliers glittering above me. Suddenly bells and blinking lights attacked my senses. Not knowing what to do, I watched in utter shock as coins flooded out at me.

Someone handed me a cup, but it wasn’t large enough. Onlookers clapped and cheered. Winning big at the Monte Carlo casino is a relative term. Suffice to say my take wouldn’t have covered a single night’s stay at the exclusive Hotel de Paris, not far from the Monte Carlo casino. Still, I felt like a winner. Also, the excitement continued as I heard congratulations in several languages.

For those expecting me to say I played out the rest of my money and lost everything. They would be wrong. That’s not how this fairy tale ends.

Leaving a Winner the Casino in Monte Carlo

I finished gambling. Without counting I stuffed my loot into my backpack (not an easy task) and clunked my way around the Monte Carlo casino, the strap of my bulging bag digging into my shoulder reminding me of my windfall. Finally, less than an hour later, I walked the palm tree-lined pathway from the casino toward the Mediterranean Sea. I wound my way past the Rolls Royces, Jaguars and Ferraris to the other parking lot where my bus was waiting for me. Off I headed toward the Italian Riviera (about an hour away) for an ordinary dinner at my tourist-class hotel.

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