This is my review of the Casino in Spa. For more information on this casino, please click here.
The casino in Spa, build in 1763, holds itself to be the world‘s oldest Casino. If you don’t take into account the play halls in Middle Ages Italy, this is probably true. The casinos’ beginning is connected to the famous cold springs of Spa, believed to possess health-giving properties. As early as the 18th century, the springs in Spa were a major attraction for visitors from around the world, mostly members of the European elite. The Casino provided these visitors with exciting entertainment. From Spa, the idea of having a casino next to a natural resource resort then spread all around Europe.
The façade of the Casino Spa alludes to this grand history. The casino is located in a magnificent palace surrounded by gardens and lovely villas. You walk into the casino with an image of an old style, elegant establishment in mind. However, as you go past the cashier, this image evaporates in a cloud of cigarette smoke.
From the inside, the place certainly has the potential to look grand. At present, only a small part of the historic building is occupied by the casino. I was bit more reserved than my girlfriend with my judgment; she thought the interior looked very shabby and was is in desperate need of renovation.
Importantly, no smoking signs can be seen everywhere, outside and inside the Casino Spa. However, the place was full of smokers and cigarettes smoke, to the point that it was hard to breath. I told one of the staff members at the casino that I was surprised, as the casino website also said that it is a non-smoking casino. She was not defensive. Instead, she explained to me in a friendly manner that the management of the casino authorizes smoking because most players wished to smoke. To be clear, I smoke myself, and have no problem with smoking. My problem is rather with the fact that they mislead people to think that smoking is not allowed in the casino, so people arrive there and are surprised by what they find.
Entrance to the casino is free. You have to be 21 to get in and present a valid ID or Passport. On the first floor, to the left of the entrance we saw at least 150 slot machines, mostly 5 reel video slots. There was also one electronic roulette table with 8 stands. You can access the restaurant through the slot area. The restaurant seems nice, with a big terrace overlooking the city.
To the right of the entrance was the live game area. We got there at around 10:00pm. I saw two beautiful old French roulette tables that were operating. Limits were between 2 and 1,000 Euros.
There was also one American roulette table. The dealer was standing next to the table with an inviting expression on his face, but there were no players at the table.
I also saw two blackjack tables. Only one was open with limits of between 5-250 Euros. I saw the same casino Holdem I noticed at the Viage casino in Brussels and it attacked most of the players. There was another casino poker table open but I didn’t recognize the game.
The opening hours for the live table games are not on the website, they are:
I didn’t play because I couldn’t breathe in the live game area as the cigarette smoke was suffocating. The cigarettes smoke there was the worst.
The second floor is the poker area. We saw two very large halls. The potential here is clearly visible. However, only one of the halls was open. There were 15 poker tables, but only 3 tables were operating. Two of were Texas Holdem tables, with many young people, only one woman and the rest were men. The third table was Omaha and the players here were mostly older. Also just one woman player.
Their poker manager was very cordial. He greeted us, offered help and let us freely look around. The air here wasn’t too bad as only one person was smoking.
Note to the management:
please make a decision. Either you make it The Smoker’s casino of SPA, remove the no-smoking signs and significantly improve the ventilation system, or, if players insist on smoking, you close the casino and make it into a congress hall.