For a long time, there’s been a looming international showdown between land-based casinos and online gambling communities. Few other entertainment industries operate with this kind of duality, effectively as two different thriving businesses built around the same games and concepts. And it certainly seems as if one of the two branches of entertainment may have to give up some ground sooner or later.
Forbes addressed this idea in a 2014 article. Their story was aimed specifically at the U.S. market, where the state of New Jersey has been experimenting with a legal online gaming market, but some of the findings were telling for the international industry. Strangely enough, while some smaller casinos may occasionally lose traffic and shut down, there is also evidence to support the idea that online casinos’ success does not necessarily come at the expense of brick-and-mortar locations.
In part, this may be because the two industries can be linked by more than the style of gaming involved. In the case of New Jersey’s industry, some of the land-based resorts and casinos have actually partnered with the Betfair Casino platform. Firmly established as one of the top online gaming sites around Europe, Betfair brings a successful Internet operation into the picture for land-based casinos looking to build online branches. This type of deal makes sustained success for both sides of the business—online and land-based—perfectly natural.
But it’s not only partnerships with online companies that is keeping land-based casinos afloat, and in many cases thriving. Rather, it’s the enduring status of major casinos as some of the best destinations for entertainment in the world. A night out at the casino isn’t all about the gambling; it’s about dressing up, socializing, eating great food and enjoying great drinks, and in many cases taking advantage of a huge range of attractions and luxuries beyond the gaming tables. And all of these perks are still unique to actual casinos!
So, in an age when many are blindly assuming that this culture is on the decline in the face of rising online empires, here’s a reminder of some outstanding casino destinations around Paris that can make for a great night out.
Association Cercle Eldo
Ranked as the #2 casino in the city by Bonjour Paris (the #1 ranked establishment, Cercle Haussmann, has since closed), Association Cercle Eldo is located on Boulevard Saint Martin. It’s a very small establishment (just five poker tables), and thus does not offer some of the traditional extra attractions of larger casinos. It is, however, a great place to get a feel for just how intimate a game of poker can become, and in some ways is a nice tribute to vintage poker rooms.
Aviation Club de Paris
Without a doubt one of the most glamorous casinos in the Paris area, Aviation Club de Paris opened in 1907 and remains a classy, old-world establishment. Upwards of 20 gaming tables make for a busy poker scene at high-volume periods, and it still hosts tournaments as well. Furthermore, its situation near the Champs Elysees invites visitors to enjoy a full night out, either within the club or nearby between games.
Located on Rue Victor Masse in the 9th Arr., Cercle Central isn’t as large or historic as Aviation Club de Paris, but it functions as something of a smaller version of it. With nearly a dozen tables serving customers, it offers a range of games including Blackjack, Poker, and Baccarat. It’s also known for a subscription drink service that can naturally bring about a festive atmosphere.
None of these Paris options offers the outright glamour that you can find at some of the busier casino districts in the world. For bright lights and big time shows, one must travel to the likes of Las Vegas or Maccau, or to an island resort specializing in casino activity. But even at these clubs dotted around Paris, one gets a true sense of what makes a land-based casino special. The intimacy, food and drink offerings, and social interactions simply make for a great time!