Fashion plays a significant role in casino culture. Since the opening of the first gambling venues back in the 17th century, dress codes have been well defined and strictly enforced.
When we think of casino fashion, James Bond style tuxedos and glamorous floor length gowns with glitzy jewelry is usually what springs to mind. There is reasoning behind this formal choice of clothing, the style helps to emulate (or give the illusion of) wealth and status. In a game of poker or blackjack, we want to give other players the impression that we are experienced and serious about winning.
However, with an explosion of online casinos joining the market and more venues in town centers popping up over the last few decades, a formal dress code is no longer a guarantee for visitors.
How has fashion inside casinos changed over the years? Are the rules the same for visitors, croupiers and other venue staff?
Casino visitor’s style is changing
It was once the expectation that all casino visitors would dress in formal or black-tie wear. If visitors were not dressed to impress, then they were unlikely to be permitted entry to the venue. This was to help maintain an atmosphere of luxury, wealth and indulgence. Appearances played an essential role in bringing in high revenues for the casino. After all, if you are surrounded by people who appear to be impressively wealthy and spending high sums with ease, you may feel pressure to fit in and behaviour in a similar way.
In the past, casinos were more selective over who they would allow to enter. In a time when social class played a higher importance in society and gambling culture, only those in the highest of social classes would be seen to be playing in a casino. This is no longer the case, as long as you are suitably dressed and abide by the venue’s rules, you will be welcomed into any casino.
In modern times, dress code also varies from casino to casino. For scheduled formal events and poker nights, or at some of the more glamorous establishments in european cities such as Monte Carlo, the traditional black or white tie still stands. Whereas, when playing at high street casinos you may opt for semi-casual attire.
Online casinos are also becoming increasingly popular. Obviously, when playing online blackjack or poker you can wear whatever you like. Part of the appeal of playing online is the convenience of being able to stay at home. Visiting a land-based casino has more appeal for nights out with friends or for special celebrations, getting ready and dressed up to go is all part of what makes these occasions so special.
As formal attire is no longer the norm in most casinos, deciding what to wear can sometimes be difficult. If visiting a casino with a ‘smart casual’ dress code, then there are plenty of options to choose from. Smart jeans or chino style trousers can be paired with shirts, polos or jumpers. For feminine styles; day dresses, skirts and jumpsuits can all be incorporated into a casino ready outfit.
Smarter style sport shoes may be allowed, but if you aren’t sure then boat shoes, chelsea boots or a classic pair of brogues are all good picks. Wedges or heels can also be a nice way of dressing up a more casual outfit.
No matter how informal or formal the venue’s dress code, beachy styles such as flip flops, tank tops and shorts are best avoided. The same goes for jogging bottoms, trainers and sports tops. It is important to all plan your visit around other activities, turn up in your gym clothes or work uniform, then you are unlikely to gain entry.
Do not forget that dress codes can change due to the time of day in the casino. While a venue may encourage smart casual in the daytime, they may have a separate, more strict, code for the evening time.
Larger venues may be divided into separate areas, with some being more exclusive than others. For example, there are many huge casinos in cities like Las Vegas with separate poker rooms where you are expected to really dress up.
Croupiers continue to dress to impress
While casino visitors now sport a much bigger variety of styles and fashion choices, the croupier’s style has remained the same.
A croupier is a casino employee who deals cards for games like poker and blackjack. They may also operate the roulette wheel and assist in other activities, such as showing customers how to use gaming machines. Their main purpose is to ensure that visitors are having a great time and encourage them to get involved with playing games.
The croupier is most often dressed in a suited look with a white shirt and bow tie. They may also opt for a suit jacket or tailored waistcoat. This applies for both male and female croupiers, however some female croupiers may wear a formal dress instead.
Those working in the most formal establishments, such as cruise liners or high end casinos will be the most smartly dressed, while those in high street venues may dress in a light more relaxed, yet still smart, style.
There are croupiers on many live online casino days these days. They also tend to wear a formal outfit. This is because the croupier plays a huge role in maintaining an atmosphere of glamour and almost show-biz style entertainment. This is a big part of the gambling experience, whether it be online or in land based venues.
Overall, casino fashion has changed for visitors over the decades. Dress codes have become less about showing off social class and status but are still important in maintaining a vibrant atmosphere. Visitors should plan ahead before going to a casino, ensuring they know what the rules are for the specific event or time of day they are visiting. For croupiers, formal attire is a long-held tradition – one that will not be changing any time soon.