In Belgium, whether in Flanders or Wallonia, there is a large selection of casinos with an electrifying atmosphere and a multitude of casino games. In total there are nine casinos available to Belgian players, four in Flanders, four in Wallonia and one in Brussels.
Belgium is not only known for its delicious waffles, crispy French fries or many beers, but also for its land-based casinos. In this article you can not only learn more about the Belgian casino traditions, but also about one of the oldest casinos in the world.
The Casino Spa
And among all these casinos, one thing stands out: the Casino of Spa, known as the oldest casino in the world.
Only few casinos can boast such a turbulent and memorable history as the Spa Casino. It was created nearly two hundred fifty years ago, anno 1762, on initiative of the two governing mayors of the city: Xhrouet Lambert and Gérard de Leau.
Ihr goal was it a luxuriöses offer for the nobility of the region to create: Ballrooms, theatres, casinos, etc. This facility, called La Redoute Spa (the word “Redoute” comes from the Italian “ridotto” and means protection), was designed by the architect Jean-Barthélemy Digneffe from Lüttlich.
La Redoute Spa, this “delicious candy in white and gold” (as it was affectionately called then) was finally opened nine years later and could welcome its first guests. The casino had its heyday until 1789.
But the Liège Revolution in particular with several devastating fires, led to the ban on gambling by the Belgian government. Much to the chagrin of the initiators of the casino, who created a touch of luxury and charm with this facility. La Redoute Spa had nevertheless survived the 19th century.
A new fire in 1917 destroyed much of the in-house spa. Through the subsequent reconstruction work, which lasted more than ten years, the municipality allowed the Casino to reopen in Spa to be reborn like a phoenix from the ashes.
The current casino is still today on the foundations of the former luxurious La Redoute Spa. In the years 1980 and 1981 there were again renovation works around the Casino again its original gloss again. In 2003, the Casino was bought by the Belgian Circus. If you go the Casino of Spa, you can feel perhaps these two hundred fifty years of luxury.
Time full of fun and plays
Even if the Casino Spa does not correspond to its French equivalents regarding the number of plays, it offers to its visitors nevertheless an extensive offer of plays. Guests can amuse themselves with Black Jack, play automats and French or American Roulette.
A highlight of the Casino Circus Spa are the Texas Hold’em tournaments regularly the Crème de la Crème of the European Poker players attracts. Around the casino you will find a theatre, several restaurants, a ballroom and a cultural centre.
Bref, le casino de Spa n’est pas qu’un simple casino brique-et-mortier sorti de nulle part (comme certains établissements de Las Vegas) mais il trouve au sein d’un complexxe de loisirs impressionnant et adapté à tous vos besoins. In short, the Casino Spa is not just a stone and brick casino (like some schools in Las Vegas) but a leisure facility tailored to your needs.
How to get there?
The Casino of Spa in the Belgian Ardennes is located in the heart of Europe: the cities of Brussels, Bonn, Aachen or Luxembourg are less than a hundred kilometres away from Spa. From Aachen, take the A40/E44 towards Liège/Liège and change at the Battice junction to the A27/E42 towards Verviers. There you leave the motorway at the exit direction Spa.
Good trip and good luck in the game!Casino Circus de Spa 4 Rue Royal 4900 Spa Belgium Phone: 00 32 87 77 20 52
(minimum age: 21 years)
Besides the famous casino of Spa – which is considered as the oldest gaming house of the world – there are in Belgium still further Casinos, above all Oostende.
Oostende is a Belgian city that may not be known to everyone. But for gambling lovers it is a true paradise. In addition, the Casino-Kursaal Oostende has been one of the most renowned gambling halls in Europe for about 20 years. Designed as a stone building, crowned by oriental domes with minarets, columns and arches, the casino opened in 1857. This structure was destroyed however during the Second World War to a large extent.
Today the Casino sets on luxury. Inside there is an impressive auditorium for concerts, dance shows or theatre performances; a gourmet restaurant with a panoramic terrace and of course the gaming rooms. It is no longer the Art Nouveau building from the past, but the foyer still radiates liveliness.
The Roulette and Blackjack tables are located on an open space in the middle of the room. Until a few years ago, slot machines were banned in Belgium. Today the casino offers the following games: Slot machines (120 machines of 0,10 euro to 1 euro), Blackjack, Texas Hold’em, Roulette (of 15.00 o’clock to 5.00 o’clock) and Stud Poker.
Also the history of the cure hall is interesting: In the 20er years the cure promenade was a popular routistic goal. Above all for the British, since queen Victoria had forbidden the gambling. Among the regular guests of the casino counted also Marguerite Yourcenar and their father, a passionate gambler.
Other casinos in Belgium:
Casino Blankenberge: very modern, Texas Hold’em
Casino Dinant: Open all year, roulette and blackjack (famous for its counters “chemin de fer”, so railway style)
Casino Knokke Le Zoute: was converted into a fort during World War II, has a Twitter account
Casino Middelkerke: is located in the famous restaurant “Il Circo”