The Venice Casino was founded in 1638 and is recognized as the oldest gambling house in the world.
In the Featured Image (above) Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, Venice – façade by architect Mauro Codussi. Photo by Didier Descouens – Own work .
The first Venetian gambling house, the “Ridotto di San Moisè”, was founded in 1638.
With the term, “Ridotto” (en. “reduced”, sometimes replaced by the French equivalent, foyer) is usually indicated the side rooms and the entertainment rooms of a theater, where the public gathers in intervals and expectations. In the past these rooms were often used for gambling, otherwise prohibited. In some cases, the name is used to indicate a minor room, next to the largest of a theater, also destined for shows such as the “Ridotto del Teatro del Popolo” (en. People Theater).
The term has also been referred to generically at the site of a meeting club, and used here to indicate the meeting places of merchants, and also as a synonym of “fondaco”, (bases that Venetians, Genoese and Pisans had in the Middle East).
Some patrons of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries paid musicians to play in their “Ridotto”: this is the case of Count Mario Bevilacqua in Verona. But these are not limited to music: they are also “Ridotti” in which they debate about philosophy, literature and other subjects. For example, in the “Ridotto” of Count Agostino Giusti, some intellectuals gathered around the patron to converse in Latin and Greek. Compared to the academies, the “Ridotto” is much less formal, and are centered on the patron, while the real academies are run by members who are elected in rotation. Nevertheless, we find (not always) notarial deeds that collect the deeds of such “Ridotto”: this is the case of Count Agostino Giusti, for example.
In Venice the term “Ridotto” was used to indicate a wing of the Dandolo palace in San Moisè, not far from the homonymous theater, converted in 1638 into a public environment dedicated to gambling and considered for this the first casino.
At the end of the 1930s, the Venice Casino was inaugurated at the Lido, a location far from the historical center and in the past used only for the summer months .
Foto of Ex Casinò del Lido di Venezia
The monumental building of the Palazzo del Casinò to the Lido was designed by the Chief Engineer of the Municipality of Venice Eugenio Miozzi in a rationalist style with influences from the architecture of the 1930s, “fascist style” and built in just 8 months in 1938. Compared to the severe facade of travertine slabs the interiors of the palace present ample spaces on the various floors decorated with marble, mosaics and art glass from the best Murano glassworks destined for gaming rooms, dining rooms and cafés and entertainment. A large entrance hall welcomed guests through the monumental staircase and three large elevators could access both the upper floor where the game rooms were located and the terraces. Access from Venice was a long corridor decorated with mirrors and curtains connected to the monumental staircase and served by elevators. The Casino was closed at the end of the 1990s, since then the Palazzo is used by the Biennale during the Film Festival to mainly host press services and screenings for the public, critics and journalists
In the fifties it also opened the headquarters of the Historic Center at “Ca ‘Vendramin – Calergi”, a building overlooking the main waterway of Venice, the “Canal Grande” (en. Grand Canal), where the Casino of Venice still resides (in the past it was open only in the winter months, now instead the whole year).
Those of you who want to reach the “Ca ’Vendramin” palace will have various alternatives available. Those arriving in Venice by train can enjoy a short walk as the Ca ‘Vendramin Casino is just a 10-minute walk from the train station, while if you arrive by bus to Piazzale Roma you can take the shuttle provided by the casino for the own customers. However, from Piazzale Roma it is possible to reach Ca ’Vendramin on foot in about 15 minutes. Both from the station and from the bus yard it is also possible to travel with the “vaporetti” lines (en. Metro Boats).
Access to the Venice Casino is allowed only to adults upon presentation of an identity document and the gambling rooms are open all year (except for 24 and 25 December).
The slot room of “Ca ‘Vendramin” opens every day at 11am and closes at 2.45am (at 3.15am on Saturdays and in the days before holidays), while the boardroom games open at 3.30pm in the period between 1am September and June 14 (at 4pm from 15/6 to 31/8) and observe the same times as the slot rooms for closing.
For entry, the purchase of a “five euro card” is required, while with the purchase of the “10 euro card” you will also get a series of additional services such as a 10 euro voucher to use at the tables or with the slots, the cloakroom service, parking and free shuttles.
Besides, players staying at hotels in Venice can get a free entry voucher.
The payment systems admitted to the Venice Casino are:
– cash (up to a maximum of 2999 euros, according to Italian law),
– Visa, Maestro and Mastercard credit cards (with the addition of China Union Pay to Ca ’Noghera).
Finally, at Ca Vendramin you will find the Wagner Restaurant which has 150 seats (open only from Friday to Sunday and on holidays), while a Grill Bar was recently opened on the second floor.
If you want to refresh yourself while you are at Ca ‘Noghera, you can choose between a classic restaurant (open only for dinner starting at 7:30 pm), a ham factory (opening hours: lunch only, from 12 to 3:30 pm) and a pizzeria .
In 1999 a new location was inaugurated: “Ca ‘Noghera”, the first American-style casino opened in Italy.
The two locations
The two venues of the Venice Casino are “Ca ‘Vendramin Calergi”, a Renaissance palace overlooking the Grand Canal in the city center, residence of Doges and the last home of Richard Wagner, and “Ca’ Noghera”, a modern structure of over 5000 m², near to the “Marco Polo” International Airport.
At Ca ‘Vendramin Calergi there are gaming tables of French tradition (Chemin de Fer, Punto Banco, French Roulette), of American origin (Caribbean Poker, Fair Roulette, Black Jack) and slot machines.
At Ca ‘Noghera there are over 550 slot machines and the main American and French table games: Fair Roulette, Black Jack and Caribbean Poker, Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer and French Roulette.
While there is no longer a poker room dedicated to Texas Hold ’em Poker.
The management ( corruption and scams of Italian politics)
In Italy the gambling sector is subject to strict regulation by the state; the authorization for the management of gambling houses – as an exception to the current penal laws – is granted to only four public bodies, including the Municipality of Venice.
The legal entity authorized to practice gambling in the municipal area of Venice is the Municipality of Venice, as the sole recipient of the authorization of the Ministry of the Interior of 16 July 1936.
Starting from 1997 the management of the House Gaming was entrusted to CMV, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Municipality of Venice, through the stipulation of an agreement under which CMV retained, as remuneration for the gaming house’s management activity, a portion of the gaming revenue collected .
On October 1, 2012, all operating assets – excluding the gaming venue – were transferred from CMV to a newco called “Casino di Venezia Gioco SpA”, which was also entrusted with the management of the Service as a result of taking over the agreement in to be.
At the same time the same company opened a casino site in Malta, which soon collapsed; this is the first case in the world of casino failure due to the loss-making budget.
The same casino in Venice, just as unique in the world history of casinos, has been at a loss for years, supported only by municipal subsidies.
But that the fault of what is happening is above all of the Municipality, the report of the Court of the Accounts related to the 2014 budget says it also with clear crystallize also discussed in the Town Council.
Accused is the mechanism of 25 percent of revenue still guaranteed by the Casino to the Municipality every year.
“As a result of this mechanism,” the accounting judges write, “although the operating revenues are higher than the costs, the business profit is systematically transformed into a loss.
The activity in question, in essence, although productive in itself, due to the interference of the shareholder, which retains a percentage of revenues exceeding the costs, generates constant losses.
The behavior just described, in evidence, creates the conditions for a structural imbalance, considering that the company operates on the market according to economic criteria typical of entrepreneurial activity.
This imbalance, moreover, obliges the institution to cover the losses with continuous capital injections, with negative repercussions on the municipal budget “.
[N.d.R. in the People’s Republic of China they would all have already been shot!
Only one bullet for each, without other waste.]
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