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Entertainment & Nightlife in Monaco


Sun Casino, in the Monte Carlo Grand Hôtel (Avenue des Spélugues 12), is a huge room filled with one-armed bandits. It also features blackjack, craps and American roulette. Additional slot machines are on the roof, with a wide view of the sea. Slot machines operate daily from 11am to 4am, and gaming tables are open daily from 5pm to 4am. Admission is free.

François Blanc developed the Monte-Carlo Casino (Place du Casino), into the most famous in the world, attracting the exiled aristocracy of Russia, Sarah Bernhardt, Mata Hari, King Farouk and Aly Khan. The architect of Paris's Opéra Garnier, Charles Garnier, built the oldest part of the casino, and it remains an example of the 19th century's most opulent architecture. The building encompasses the casino and other areas for different kinds of entertainment, including a theatre presenting opera and ballet. Baccarat, roulette and chemin de fer are the most popular games.

The casino's Salle Américaine, containing only slot machines, opens at noon, as do doors for roulette and trente-quarente. A section for roulette and chemin de fer opens at 3pm. Additional rooms open at 4pm with more roulette, craps and blackjack. The gambling continues until very late or early, depending on the crowd. The casino classifies its "private rooms" as the more demure, non-electronic areas without slots. To enter the casino, you must show a passport or other photo ID, be at least 18, and pay €10-€20 ($13-$26), depending on where you want to go. After 9pm, the staff will insist that men wear jackets and neckties for entrance to the private rooms.

Also on the premises is a Cabaret, in the Casino Gardens, where a well-rehearsed orchestra plays before the show. A performance featuring feathers, glitter, jazz dance, ballet and Riviera-style seminudity begins at 10:30pm Wednesday to Saturday mid-September through June.

The Legend (Avenue des Spélugues 3), is a favourite of the 25- to 30-year-old crowd who like a glamorous modern setting. It's open Thursday to Sunday from 11:30pm to dawn. Entrance is free. The wildest night is Saturday, when it's mobbed. At Le Living Room (Avenue des Spélugues 7), crowds are international and dance-oriented. It's open every night from 10:30pm until dawn. Cozy and comfortable, it's a bit more formal and sedate than the Legend, attracting patrons over 35. Entrance is also free. Two nearly neighbouring piano bars are Le Sass-Café (Avenue des Spélugues 5), and the Zebra Square Café (Avenue des Spélugues 10).

Newest on the Monte Carlo nightlife scene is Le Karement (Grimaldi Forum). Sprawling, ultra-contemporary, and bigger than any nightlife venue ever before seen in Monte Carlo, it boasts two bars inside, a third bar on an outdoor terrace, a sprawling bay window that encompasses a view of the sea, and the kind of house and garage music that the young and young-at-heart clientele can really dance to. Open nightly, year-round, from 10pm till at least 4am, and often later, if business allows.

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