Finding a good casino is one thing, yet attending it is something completely different. Although online casinos are becoming more popular year after year, visiting a land-based casino is still an event to remember. Establishments such as London’s Hippodrome, or Les Ambassadeurs, however, are not gambling joints around the corner where you can show up in jeans and sneakers any time of day. They have elaborate dress codes that sometimes can be quite difficult to decode.
That is why we asked Anna Rosak, a renowned casino expert, to help us out. Even though she admits that these days she prefers to play online (in her favourite PlayFortuna casino), Anna still loves the occasional visit to a land-based venue.
“There is something about glitter, glimmer, and feeling like Julia Roberts in Ocean’s 11”, she says, reminding us of the famous staircase scene, and continues, “And honestly, I think fashion is part of the charm. There is something posh, exclusive, about putting on your Sunday’s best, and having fun.”
Decoding the Casino Dress Code
Understanding the casino dress code is very close to understanding the fashion lingo. Rosak says that every casino will have a list of rules, or dress code if you like, listed somewhere on the website, and if you can’t find it, make sure to make a short phone call before visiting.
“A simple phone call can save you a lot of embarrassment, especially at more upscale places. You don’t want to be that person that has to be asked to leave, just because you wear the wrong type of pants or don’t have a tie”, she says.
So, what is the basic rule, we asked? “It is better to be overdressed than underdressed”, Anna warns, “You might feel a bit out of place, but at least you won’t have to go home and change!”
There are typically three basic dress codes that apply at the casino: white tie, black tie and professional, also known as business casual. There is some difference between professional and business casual, yet these two terms are often used interchangeably.
What is the White Tie Dress Code at the Casino?
“White tie means as posh as it gets! Think James Bond movies, and you’ll be thinking in the right direction”, explains Rosak.
For men, this means a black tailcoat with black pleated pants and a white waistcoat. As the name suggests, the tie has to be white, while optional accessories include a top hat, white gloves, and a white lapel flower. For ladies, this dress code reads as a full-length evening dress and hair in a bun. Gloves are not necessary, albeit are highly desired.
“This is a dress code that is applicable at exclusive events at VIP casinos, with limited access, so you probably won’t have to worry about it”, Anna tried to convince us.
What is the Black Tie Dress Code in a Casino?
“This is a dress code you typically find at exclusive events, at fancy casinos or in VIP rooms. For example, in charity poker tournaments that may involve a celebrity or two, and everyone who is willing to pay the price”, reveals Anna.
Men who wish to follow the rules will have to wear a black tuxedo with a black tie, hence the name. Ladies, on the other hand, have a much wider selection of robes.
“Women can choose full-length evening gowns, but forgo the gloves. Cocktail dresses are also acceptable, as well as suits, but only if they don’t look like something you would wear to work. If you are a true fashionista, I suggest showing up in a fancy jumpsuit, perhaps with a cape attached. It leaves quite an impression, and is more comfortable than any dress, especially on those high chairs”, recommends our expert.
What is the Business Casual Dress Code in a Casino?
Business casual is the most common type of dress code, and it is very likely you already own the entire outfit you need. “It is something you would wear to work, if your employment was in a big bank”, says Anna.
Male gamblers should skip the jeans, flip-flops, cargo pants, sports jerseys, sneakers and anything sleeveless, and rather choose a simple combo of shirt and pants. All sorts of jackets are allowed, but Anna suggests keeping it slightly more fashionable with a blazer on top, instead of a sports jacket.
And ladies? They have all the freedom they want – dresses of all sorts, pants and blouses, jackets of all kinds, skirts with shirts on top… anything goes as long as you don’t look like you popped up, straight from the beach! “Okay, you probably don’t want to show up in pink Juicy Couture sweatpants, and with greasy hair, yet luckily, this dress code allows many comfy options that don’t ask for high heels”, concludes Rosak.