The Monte Carlo Casino is an icon, and not just for its role in many Bond thrillers. The epitome of glitz and glam, wealth and stature; the Monte Carlo Casino is a must see for everyone playing at being rich and famous in the French Riviera. Even if you can’t roll up in something this flashy.
When I first arrived in Monte Carlo from Nice it was too early for the Casino to be open. So I wandered around the area getting the best of my one day, but made sure to stop back before I left. After all, how could I not test my luck in the world’s most famous casino?
Despite my incredibly non-couture ensemble I was kindly permitted into the main area where I was directed to a desk to drop off my camera and any extra bags. No fee was charged but I was made aware that absolutely no photos were allowed during my visit and as such, I needed to leave everything, including cell phone, behind. Nodding my consent, I handed over everything but my wallet and entered into the play land of the elite.
To be honest, the main area wasn’t as swanky as I expected. That being said I was completely charmed by the old world look. Rich red carpets lined the floors while gorgeous lamps hung from the ceilings. Well-dressed men stood behind shining wooden desks, observing the room and its patrons.
I spent a little while just exploring. I couldn’t go far as I wasn’t a) dressed or b) rich enough to get into the private areas, but I could still look around a few rooms. I watched a group of Asian tourists at a black jack table for a bit. Having arrived a bit late I wasn’t quite sure what was happening but judging from the stack of chips and exuberant reactions from one woman, she was doing pretty well.
With my mini-tour done I decided it was time to try to win a bit myself. The only problem? I don’t gamble. I’ve bought one lottery ticket in my life; on my 18th birthday. I won three free tickets off of it and when those ran out, I was done. As for casinos, I’d only ever been to one for a friend’s 23rd birthday, and panicked as I watched my hard-earned money disappear; choosing to hit the button and take out my last $5 rather than risk it all. It’s not that I’m over cautious; I just know I’m unlucky, so what’s the point in throwing it away? However, here in the infamous Monte Carlo Casino I knew I needed to play a little, just to say I did it. So I reached into my wallet and pulled out a new, crisp $5 euro bill. (Hey, it’s all I could afford).
Picking a slot machine at random I tried to feed my 5 euros into the machine. But instead of accepting it and starting to spin, it spit it back out. Flipping the bill around I tried again, and again, and again. Nada. Confused I got up and went over to a man at one of the desks, asking if I could exchange a bill.
“No problem mademoiselle” he told me, passing me another 5 euro bill.
Ready to go I went back to the same machine, only to have this bill spit back out at me too. Over, and over and over.
What the heck.
Noting my confusion a security guard came over and asked me if I needed help. After explaining what happened, he suggested I swap my bill. I told him I already did, and after trying himself he used his key on another machine, fed it my 5 euro bill, and printed me off a voucher. Wishing me good luck he smiled and walked away.
So here I was, two 5 euro bills and a voucher later, in front of a slot machine in the Monte Carlo Casino. After having so many issues, most people would take it as a sign and walk away; choose another machine that was a bit more user- friendly. But not me. Being too stubborn, or dumb, to move from the first machine I picked I fed it my voucher and began to play.
Two minutes. I swear I only lasted a maximum of two minutes before I ran out of money. Done, I stared at the flashing zeros under my balance before loudly announcing to the German couple beside me that that was the fastest 5 euro I had ever spent in my life. They laughed at my bad luck before turning back to their own game, in which they were doing considerably much better than I was. Sighing I left, collected my bags from the coat check, and headed to the bus stop to head back to Nice. My pockets weren’t lined with any extra bills but I did manage to check another awesome travel goal off my list.
Maybe I’d have more luck in Vegas.