Known as the roulette capitol of the world, France is considered to be among the leading casino destinations on earth.
There are a massive 186 legal gaming places in France, spread across 175 towns, and they truly are spread out; in fact, you’ll only find one casino in the capitol of Paris!
You obviously won’t have time to visit all 186 properties, so we’ve put together a list of the best in the country.
Casino Tourism: The Best Casinos to Visit in France
Palais De La Méditerranée
?: Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte D’Azur
Postcard from the 1930s showing the Palais de la Méditerranée on the waterfront in Nice; the domed building on the left is the Hotel Negresco.
One of the major landmarks in Nice, the Palais De La Méditerranée is a luxury casino hotel under Hyatt, right on the seafront of the Promenade des Anglais. It’s a stunning building, and two of its art deco facades have been classified as historical monuments.
This is an exceptional venue, and you’ll find 194 slot machines, 2 English roulette tables, 1 electronic English roulette table, 1 War table and 3 Blackjack tables. Worth noting that this casino doesn’t offer poker.
The floor is expansive, but what makes the casino really standout is its majesty and grandeur. Since it was built in 1929, the hotel has seen several changes, but everything about the building still screams 1930’s luxury and refinement.
The casino is open seven days a week, from 10:00 until 03:00 and until 04:00 on weekends. They speak English, Arab, French, and Italian, and if you’re looking for a James Bond casino experience, this would be it!
Open to the public, though if you’re staying at the hotel it’s a stunning 5 star property, and you’ll have access to amenities like a Turkish sauna and bath, beach access, dining, and a stunning pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Casino De Divonnes Les Baines
?: Divonnes-Le-Bains, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
This property is a luxury casino, hotel and golf resort, and located near the French border with Switzerland, it draws a lot of high rollers from Geneva. And it’s the biggest French Casino when it comes to games on offer.
There’s a poker room, where high stakes games take place, and 13 tables to cover Black Jack, English Roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Texas Hold’em Poker (Cash Game) and Omaha Poker.
There are also 245 slot machines, the room open from everyday from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. Fun fact: Slot machines only became legal in French casinos in 1986. The record win on a slot machine in France was in March 2011, a player having collected more than 9 Million euros!
Located in the Slot Machines room, the Bar Lounge offers cocktails and paninis throughout the day. Located in the Traditional Games room is a Cocktail Bar offering cocktails of all kinds, by specialists in “flair bartending” (bar juggling).
Casino Barrière D’Enghein-Les-Bains
?: Enghein-Les-Bains, Paris
Most people visiting Paris will stop here; this is a luxurious casino just a few minutes from the Champs-Elysées. On the edge of Enghien lake, it has an atrium, enchanting lights, gaming tables, slot machines, 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a theatre.
You’ll find up to 487 gaming machines to play video poker or slots here, and there are 38 table games; classics such as blackjack and roulette, though you can also experiment with local games like French baccarat, known as chemin de fer.
If you’re hitting up the slot machines, start with mechanical or video rollers with 3 windows, which are easier to understand. To win, simply align the same symbol horizontally 3 times.
Casino hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 4am ; weekends and public holidays, 10am to 5am. Table games: Monday to Friday, 3pm to 4am, weekends and public holidays, 3pm to 5am.
Entrance fee will set you back around 16 Euros, and you’ll need your passport to check-in / register. There’s a cloakroom available for leaving your belongings, which will set you back another 4 Euro.
Casino Le Lyon Vert
?: Lyon, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
A list of the leading French casinos is incomplete without Casino Le Lyon Vert; a luxurious gaming arena that boasts 334 slot machines, regular bingo draws and 15 table games to entertain the nation’s 3rd biggest city.
And it’s the largest casino in France.
Quite like the other locations on our list, this is an entertainment complex that consists of a casino, hotel, spa, restaurants, and events space. The casino itself is open until 4 am.
Owned by the Partouche Group, who have a passion for recovering old casinos, the building is an elegant, art deco style, with a view of the park, and an elegant restaurant that features a creative menu filled with the finest examples of Lyonnais cuisine.
Not only can you head here to play, they also offer free game workshops (appointments required), where you can learn how to play, taught by a dealer, to feel confident with the rules of blackjack or English roulette. And each month they hold an evening Bingo event.
BONUS: Monte Carlo Casino
?: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monaco citizens are barred from playing here, but the Monte Carlo casino is a hot destination for the internationally rich and famous. World famous, it’s considered to be a shrine to all things gambling, and seven million tourists take selfies each year with the magnificent building.
This casino was launched in 1863 and it’s popular for many reasons; its elegance, style, history, and being the inspiration and filming location for many James Bond films, as well as Ocean’s Twelve. It has 108000 sq. ft. of gambling areas, around many table games and 300 slot machines.
If you can’t afford to actually gamble here, a €10 entry fee will see you plunge into a 19th century themed casino hall with regularly hosted events, including the annual Poker Stars Championships that tends to attract industry celebrities.
Image: Dennis Jarvis (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr