I love this question and I understand what it’s asked. You see, if you’ve never been to a casino, all you have for reference is Hollywood and television shows and these shows portray a total different casino experience to the one you’ll experience when you visit.
Of course, the rules are different all over the world, especially because there are different climates to consider. I mean, you can’t be expected to wear a tuxedo when playing in a Las Vegas casino, can you? But dress codes can be important when going to a casino for the first time, so it’s worth noting that most casinos do have some form of dress code in place.
Let’s start in Vegas. Let’s put it this way: as long as you look reasonably clean, you’ll be fine. They’ll let you play in shorts, which is very handy, considering the temperatures in the summer. Just make sure you have shorts and shoes on at a minimum and you’ll be fine.
However, it should be noted that if you plan to eat at some of the nicer restaurants in these casinos, or take in a show or two, you should be dressed a bit smarter than the shorts and t-shirt combo you were sporting when you were on the run at the craps table.
Elsewhere in North America, it’s pretty much the same. Most places will prohibit beachwear and gang colors, but apart from that, knock yourself out. The most important thing to think about is whether you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing. I need to be comfortable when playing at a casino and that’s why I love the liberal dress-codes in North America compared to other countries.
Now, how about we hope over the Pond? In Britain, it’s a funny one. I’ve been to casinos where people have been in tracksuits and no-one has batted an eyelid. However, you try that in other casinos and you’ll be refused entry. A lot of the casinos say they have a “smart/casual” dress code, which means as long as your legs are covered and you’ve at least got a t-shirt on, you’re fine. However, the next step up is that you can’t wear football colors, or hooded tops, or long jackets. Finally, a lot are now adopting a “smart” dress-code, especially in the evenings. This means you’ll need a jacket to play in the casinos. Now, while this is mainly in London, it is becoming more common throughout the country. So, it’s definitely worth checking the individual casino’s rules before you head out, as you don’t want to get all the way to the casino in your brand new PokerStars hoodie only to be turned away. If only they were as liberal as America!
Now let’s check out the place Hollywood loves the most for lying about dress-codes: Monte Carlo. You might think it’s tuxedos only, right? Well, you’d be wrong. All the casinos want if for you to dress sensibly and in a manner that is fitting of the complex. Now, while they won’t appreciate you turning up in your finest Nike running outfit, you don’t have to ask Mr Armani for a new suit.
Elsewhere in Europe, it’s the same. Smart-casual, leaning towards smart is the order of the day, but again, it’s not what you see in the movies. Just don’t look like you’re homeless and you should be fine.
In Australia, it’s much like the UK. Some places are happy with you turning up in casual wear, much like their Vegas counterparts (mostly on account of the weather in Australia), while others want you to turn up in some smart clothes. It’s easy enough to work out which casinos have which dress code, really. If it’s part of a big resort where people are lounging about the pools all day, it’s more casual. If, however, it’s a stand-alone casino with a touch of class, make sure you bring a jacket!
So, what I can safely say is that Hollywood has lied to you. Casinos in Europe, especially Monte Carlo, are not as flash as they would have you believe! Now, they’re not as informal as their American counterparts, but they’re not as strict as that place in Casino Royale, either. Remember, when it comes to gambling, TV shows and films very ever rarely portray a real picture.
Now, I said earlier that I like to be comfortable when gambling and I love wearing jeans and a t-shirt when I go to a casino, or when I’m in Vegas, I like wearing shorts instead of the jeans. I think it’s the most important thing to do when gaming If you’re not comfortable, you’re not going to enjoy it. That’s why I love playing at online casinos more than I do at live casinos. Yes, I feel comfortable in my jeans, but I’m even comfier in my leisure pants and a football jersey. Would I be seen dead outside my house in those leisure pants? Hell no! But they are the comfiest things I own and I enjoy nothing more than firing up the Vegas Days software on a Sunday and doing nothing but relax in my favorite clothes, playing my favorite games (blackjack, especially!) at one of my favorite casinos. If you’ve not tried it yet, go for it: find your favorite clothes to lie about the house in, head over to Vegas Days (you don’t even have to download the software) and see if there’s a better feeling than winning money in comfort.
Additional Dress Code Questions:
The answer to the question What Should I Wear to a Casino? is also applicable for the following questions: