THE FINE ART OF GAMBLING – our win at Monte Carlo

Anish Kapoor, Sky Mirror 1999

Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror 1999. I presume the punters paid for it.

The prosperity on show in Monte Carlo is compelling evidence that the house always wins in the end.

It was our first trip to Monaco, an easy way to add another country to the notches on our travelling sticks. Much of the surface area of the principality was covered with temporary seating, in preparation for some kind of automobile race.

We skirted round the scaffolding and sidled into the Monte Carlo Casino, wondering, ‘Are we even allowed in there if we’re not going to lose money?’

Mevrouw T and I have a major advantage over the average punter because we don’t know how to gamble. Blackjack and roulette are mysteries to us and we can’t even work poker machines. We see where the money goes in, but what do you do after that?

Perhaps if I went inside and had just one little flutter...

Perhaps if I went inside and had just one little flutter…

We checked our bags and handed over our IDs, to prove we were over eighteen years of age and good for our debts. Entry to the Salle Europe was free.

No photography was allowed, but I can assure everyone the casino is as over-the-top on the inside as it is on the outside, in an elaborate, nineteeth century, Belle Epoque sort of way. Sadly, when you insert banks of gaudy poker machines they make the most glamorous interior decor look like, well, like Vegas.

A few minutes of trying to understand blackjack and wondering why none of the players seemed to be having fun was enough for us.

We went out onto the terraces behind the building, where the fine art, sponsored, we presume, by the fun and games inside, was well worth appreciating.

Botero, Adam and Eve

Botero, Adam and Eve

Vasarely's Hexagon 1979

Vasarely’s Hexagon 1979

Monolo Valdes, Reina Mariana

Monolo Valdes, Reina Mariana

Where fools and their money part company.

The palace where fools and their money part company.

We still had our EUR1.50 for the 20 minute bus ride back to Villefranche. We counted that as being ahead for the day. Most were not so lucky.


Filed under Art

8 responses to “THE FINE ART OF GAMBLING – our win at Monte Carlo

  1. Pingback: IT’S ALL DONE WITH MIRRORS – Marseilles | Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

  2. I couldn’t possibly gamble. I don’t like to lose money! As you say, the lavish buildings are proof of the winner when you gamble.

  3. I’ve never understood how people find pleasure in gambling, it bores me senseless but the art you discovered would make up for having to spend any time in a casino.

  4. I dislike casinos and gambling too – as you say, the house always wins in the end! And what a waste of one’s hard-earned money. The art looks interesting though!

  5. gerry

    It is very easy to say” gambling is not for me” or gambling is “low brow”, but… a bet, and double your money, and we can chat after that experience! 🙂

    • You doubled your money??? When? Where?

      You’re right to assume that my gambling experience is limited. My only visit to the horse-racing at Sydney’s Randwick was memorable. I won on the first race, lost on the next five, and never saw the need to go back again.

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