Casinos are one of the oldest forms of entertainment that is still enjoyed today. The first “modern” casino was the Casino di Venezia which opened its doors way back in 1638. Even then, it was originally a theatre that offered casino games to patrons during intermissions.
Since then, these giant gaming halls have opened up around the world, including some famous establishments that have featured in Hollywood blockbusters and countless TV shows. For example, the Casino de Monte-Carlo, which is located in the European principality of Monaco, is more than 150 years old and has been the setting for at least two James Bond movies, as well as featuring in Iron Man 2 and Heartbreaker.
In all of these films (and many others about casinos), the audience is led to believe that, to fit in with the clientele while playing blackjack or poker, you need to be kitted out in your finest tuxedo or cocktail dress.
In the real world, this isn’t quite true. Casino patrons typically have a bit more freedom when choosing their attire, though there are some dos and don’ts that are pretty universal.
Of course, with the advent of online casinos, you can enjoy all the most popular games without having to worry about any form of dress code since you can play at home. In addition to being able to play roulette and slots in your pyjamas, these online casinos often offer free spins bonuses that mean you can play without spending any money. But if you are considering attending a physical venue, then you’ll need to adhere to the house’s dress code.
Finding Out the Dress Code
Each venue has a different dress code, though casinos in the same city tend to take a similar approach. For example, most Las Vegas casinos don’t have a strict set of rules, only requiring that their guests appear “presentable”.
In Singapore, the rules are a little stricter, while Macau casinos tend to have different rules for the general-admission areas and the high roller rooms.
In almost all casinos around the world, there are some rules that have been adopted uniformly. For example, guests are typically prohibited from wearing shorts, flip flops, clothing with rips or tears, and items that cover the face. In Las Vegas, T-shirts are typically frowned upon, with casino operators preferring you wear something with long sleeves and a collar.
You can usually find the dress code for each venue on their website, though if you struggle to locate it, their customer service team will be more than happy to help.
Like a speed limit while driving, don’t treat the dress code as a “target” as it’s more of a guide. You can dress smarter than the dress code, just like you can drive slower than the speed limit. So now you have the rules, you need to make a decision on what to wear.
You don’t have to be a high roller to look a million dollars in a casino, anyone can dress smartly. The great thing about casinos is that you’ll fit right in if you’re dressed smartly, even if not everyone else is.
For men, this means a suit, a shirt, a tie, and leather shoes. If the casino requests you wear “black tie”, then you’ll need a dinner jacket and matching trousers, a button-down shirt with a wing collar, and a bow tie. It’s also advisable to wear cufflinks and have trousers that have a satin stripe.
For women, ballgowns and other floor-length frocks are the safe options, but anything that is tasteful and elegant will suffice. If you prefer trousers to dresses, a well-cut pantsuit will also work just as well. For jewellery and accessories, a “less-is-more” approach is usually best so choose something simple and not too garish. If you want to go all-in, then get some matching gloves and a wrap.
If the casino doesn’t require guests to wear black tie attire or other formalwear, it may choose to stipulate “business casual” instead. This affords you more freedom and flexibility to express yourself while still looking sharp.
For men, this means a sport coat or blazer, though you are usually free to choose what colour. You may still opt for the traditional black if you wish. While most casinos in Las Vegas won’t kick you out based on the colour you choose, just keep in mind that wearing something extremely bright will attract a lot of attention.
T-shirts are still not acceptable, though you can get away with a polo shirt instead. Naturally, this also means ties aren’t necessary, though if your outfit permits, you can still wear one. For your bottom half, slacks or khaki-style trousers are also acceptable since dress pants aren’t required.
For women, all of the above options are available, along with skirts and dresses. It should be kept in mind that a business casual dress code still requires your shoulders to be covered and for your outfit to not be revealing.
Despite their reputation for being very strict, most casinos actually only enforce a casual dress code. This is because they want their customers to feel relaxed and comfortable while they’re playing.
Therefore, you’re most likely to see a dress code that permits men to wear something other than suits or ties. Formal trousers can be replaced with jeans (provided they’re not ripped) and any colour or pattern you like.
In some casinos, T-shirts are ok, though many still don’t permit them. In which case, it would be safer to opt for something with a collar, just in case.
For women, the same applies. Jeans are allowed, along with blouses in any colour you like. Sundresses and skirts are also acceptable, with fewer requirements on their coverage. Like for men though, although T-shirts are sometimes acceptable, it’s best to avoid them just in case.
Almost all casinos ban the wearing of sportswear on their gaming floors or up-market facilities. This includes tracksuits, trainers, and shorts. These should be reserved for the resort’s fitness suite and swimming pool.
Flip flops and sandals are usually also not permitted. Instead, men will be required to wear shoes with full coverage, while women have more flexibility.