A few days ago, a local friend told us about Casino Campione d’Italia and suggested that we check it out while we were in town. He told us it is the largest casino in Europe and that it has 9 floors of table games and slot machines, with a stunning view of Lake Lugano. We had recently spent a couple of days in Lugano, on the other side of the lake, and remembered seeing a giant neon sign. Without binoculars, it was hard to make out clearly, but it turns out, it was the casino! We didn’t stay too long, but we did manage to play a few rounds of blackjack and try our luck at a few slot machines.
Both before and after the casino, we enjoyed a walk by the lake…
Some interesting facts from wikipedia…
The Casinò di Campione is the largest employer in the municipality of Campione d’Italia, an Italian exclave within Switzerland’s Canton of Ticino, on the shores of Lake Lugano.
The casino was founded in 1917 as a site to gather information from foreign diplomats during the First World War. Today it is owned by the Italian government, and operated by the municipality. The income from the casino is sufficient for the operation of Campione without the imposition of taxes, or obtaining of other revenue. It is Europe’s largest casino.
In 2007, the casino moved into new premises, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. The new premises provide a floor space of more than 55,000 square metres (590,000 sq ft) on 9 floors with 3 further levels of underground parking, giving the casino space for 56 tables and 500 slot machines. The new casino was built alongside the old one, which dated from 1933 and has since been demolished.
The casino became prominent in the news in 2006 when the son of the last king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia, was accused of procuring girls for prostitution to be sent to clients of the casino.