90 km from Turin in North West Italy, the spa town of Saint-Vincent in the Valle d’Aosta is known as the “Alpine Riviera”. Visitors to the town will enjoy discovering its Roman and medieval past, as well as taking in the stunning mountain scenery.
The Casino through history
The first gambling house appeared in 1872, as a summer attraction for visitors to the springs, but it was not until 1921 that the local mayor made the first formal requests to open a casino. It was thanks to the Valle d’Aosta’s political status as a region governed by special statute that the casino was finally allowed to open in 1947, with the idea of giving tourism and the local economy a boost.
The first game at the new casino got underway on 29th March 1947 at 9 pm. The roulette wheel spun for three Italian guests, stopping its very first turn on number 9.
The Casino at Saint-Vincent has seen many famous guests throughout its history, for the gaming as well as the many prestigious events that the casino hosts each year.
Tyrone Power and Linda Christian arrived at Grand Hotel Billia in their Mercury; while more recently Sean Connery won 20 million lire betting on a lucky 17 that came out three times. Italian actors Vittorio De Sica and Alberto Sordi came to Saint Vincent for the award ceremony of the national Cinema event hosted by the casino, the Grolle d’Oro, as did Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Lattuada, Anna Magnani, Bernardo Bertolucci, Silvana Mangano, Ugo Tognazzi, Gian Maria Volonte’, Paolo Stoppa, Vittorio Gassman, Walter Chiari and Diego Abatantuono.
…and famous gamblers
Edoardo and Peppino De Filippo were famous for their all-nighters at the casino, while King Farouk of Egypt was another well-known face at the tables, remembered for his traditional plate of eggs and onions while playing.
The most popular betting in Italy is on the football pools, with games like Totocalcio and Totogol, or chancing the luck of the lottery, but few people actually realize that they would have much better chances of winning at the casino.
Take roulette for example – with the French game you have a 1 in 37 chance of winning, against over 1 in a million for the pools and up to 1 in 40 million of hitting the jackpot with a scratch card.
Saint-Vincent success story
Business is booming at Saint-Vincent, as the figures show: last year’s gross takings were over 300 billion lire, with 64% of that from the gaming tables. While the other Italian casinos have invested more on slot machines, Saint-Vincent has opted to invest in personnel, with its highly professional staff of croupiers. The casino is also a big employer, with 840 people on its books.
The Casino is famous for its prestigious events, shows, sport tournaments, meetings and National Award for cinema, journalism and economy, all promoted by TV and newspapers all over Italy. At present there is also a special agreement with Juventus FC, Italy’s number one team, and together with the local air company AIR VALLEE the casino has also laid on special flights for clients from other parts of Italy.
Via Italo Mus
tel. + 39 (0166) 5221
fax + 39 (0166) 511616
Customer service: + 39 (0166) 522506 (every day from 3pm to 11pm)
Information desk: +39 0166 522287
Internet: www.casinodelavallee.it (info on this page courtesy of the Casino site)
Where to stay in Saint Vincent
There are high quality hotels, apartments, guesthouses and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.