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Monaco Online Casinos

MonacoWhile it is one of the smallest countries in the world, Monaco also happens to be one of the most important nations when it comes to the gaming industry, particularly in the history of the development of casinos. That might not be immediately obvious, but you probably better understand how the country’s most populated area is connected to all of this: the Quartier of Monte Carlo.

Monte Carlo is a name synonymous with luxury, excess, and – most importantly for our purposes – casino gambling. It has been the backdrop for James Bond’s adventures, a vacation spot for European Nobility for centuries, and still attracts gaming tourism from across the globe today. Monaco’s online gambling industry, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as developed, though plenty of foreign groups are happy to offer their virtual games alongside those of the fabulous resorts found here.

Gambling Online in Monaco

Monaco has always taken a rather laissez-faire attitude towards gaming regulation; while the casinos aren’t exactly without oversight in the country, they aren’t watched with an eagle eye either (sometimes leading to accusations that money laundering standards aren’t followed as closely as they should be). A similar policy seems to be in place when it comes to online casinos in Monaco as well, with the government mostly taking a hands-off approach to the industry.

That’s not to say that the country is enamored with the idea of its citizens playing on foreign websites: there have been efforts to ban the practice, putting the Internet policy in line with that at the land-based venues. However, those attempts have never come to fruition, and today, it apparently remains legal for Monegasques to play for real money online.

There are a plethora of online gambling sites in Monaco with plenty of foreign operators are willing to step into that situation and offer their games, of course. You’ll find no shortage of online casinos and other betting sites available from Monaco, as there are no consequences nor legal restrictions facing companies that advertise their offerings here. Many of the most popular developers in the world license their games to sites that operate here, including:

  • Microgaming
  • Betsoft
  • NetEnt
  • EGT
  • Novomatic

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Rich History Extends Into Present Day

The story of casinos in Monaco dates back to the middle of the 19th century. At the time, the House of Grimaldi – the ruling family of the country – was on the verge of bankruptcy, with no obvious way to fix their increasingly dire financial problems. Princess Caroline proposed building a casino, in the hopes that it could attract visitors from France, England, and other destinations, bringing in much needed revenue from outside of the country.

By 1856, the first gaming facilities had opened, though only in the first of several temporary locations that would be utilized over the next several years. The casino would become profitable by the end of the decade, but not to the extent that Caroline had hoped, leading her to target Francois Blanc (who already operated a casino in Germany) to take over the operations of the facility.

Blanc was initially reluctant, but eventually accepted the position. Among his ideas was to transform the name of the area where the permanent resort was to be built to make it sound more attractive to foreign visitors. After some consideration, a new name was chosen, and Spelugues became known as Monte Carlo.

The Casino de Monte Carlo would go on to become one of the most luxurious resorts in Europe. Expansions took place several times over the decades that followed, but much of the original design remains intact well over a century later. The venue would become the main source of income for Monaco, a position it singlehandedly maintained until recent years, when the economy of the nation diversified somewhat.

Today, there are now five casinos operating in Monte Carlo, though the first casino remains the biggest attraction for visitors. As in some other countries, there are rules preventing residents of the nation from gambling in these venues, though this is hardly a problem: the entire population of Monaco numbers only about 38,000, and the majority of those residents are not citizens of the nation. For some time, citizens weren’t even allowed to work on the gaming floors, though that rule has long since been relaxed.

As well as playing home to James Bond's favourite baccarat game, many of the most famous incidents in gambling history have taken place in Monaco. In 1973, Joseph Jagger famously “broke the bank” by exploiting a biased roulette wheel. Several decades later, one wheel landed on black 26 times in a row, with many players losing large sums of money betting on red due to a mistaken belief in the gambler’s fallacy.

Today, the Casino de Monte Carlo offers a rather modern variety of games, from slots to blackjack, baccarat, craps, roulette, and video poker. However, you will find a few unique selections as well: the old French game of Trente et Quarante is still found here, as it remains popular in many parts of continental Europe. For many years, the resort was also home to the Grand Final of the European Poker Tour, though the event hasn’t taken place here since 2011.

Changes to Tradition Unlikely

Monaco’s gaming industry is steeped in tradition, and we hardly expect anything to change here in the near future. The casinos will continue to operate, and tourists will continue to flock to them, particularly the upper classes of nearby European nations. If anything could be on the horizon, it could be a closer look at exactly who is spending their money in these resorts, as pressure continues to come from the outside world for there to be tighter anti-money laundering controls in place here. But these efforts have been resisted for a long time, so other than the occasional new games being brought in to spice up the gaming floor, we think there will be an uphill fight to change anything in Monte Carlo.

That’s probably just as true when it comes to online gambling. There isn’t much motivation there for the government to take an interest in the idea, and with so few people to market to, outside firms aren’t going to be agitating for a regulatory framework, either. It’s possible that someday the casinos themselves may ask to be able to offer Internet games as an additional revenue stream, but even that would likely be a very small scale expansion, making it a low priority at best for this tiny country.

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