Understanding Casino Dress Codes and the Story Behind Dressing for Casinos


Although gaming is thought to date back to as early as 2300 BC, the first official casino is the Casino di Venezia, in Venice, which opened in 1638. Casino gaming gradually established itself in the course of the 18th and 19th century, especially in mainland Europe, before becoming big in Las Vegas in the early 20th century. Unfortunately, it suffered various periods of turmoil in the US, maligned by wartime and connections with mobsters, despite the fact there were businesspeople operating gaming services perfectly legitimately. 

Soon casino gaming restored its path to respectability, however. What was once seen as something of a vice is now considered a major form of entertainment today and is more socially acceptable. Technology has also helped casino gaming become more widespread, with people enjoying the convenience of being able to play slots and other casino games wherever they are and whenever they want, thanks to the design of gaming websites and apps. 

Why are casino dress codes important?

Casino dress codes are a vital factor in creating the overall experience.

The casino dress codes are important because casinos are more than just about being a place to win money. Visiting a casino is also about enjoying a premium experience. The dress code helps the casinos to create a stylish ambience, somewhere between relaxed and formal, making them no place to walk into dressed as if you were about to hit the beach or a gym!

Not only this, however, but the dress code is also supposed to boost players’ confidence at the tables. You’re smartly dressed and playing in a serene environment. In such a setting, you should feel confident even against the high rollers at the tables.

The story of casino dress codes

The concept of dress codes in casinos begun by being about class and has existed for more than 100 years. Casino gaming was associated with the rich, who had to convey their wealth and dress in suits or smart casual clothes. 

Although casino gaming opened itself to the less wealthy, the casinos strived to maintain the rules of dressing for the establishment. They wanted to create a common casino environment for their patrons, regardless of their social class, and this entailed keeping the dress code in place.

Exaggerated silhouettes and flashy colors were the order of the day. The outfits required for visiting a casino were formal. Many places expected men to wear a tie and women to wear a formal gown.

Most land based casinos require players to wear formal clothing.

Relaxing the rules

That was up until around the 1990s. Casinos then relaxed their dress code slightly. The men no longer turned up in their crisp suits and the ladies lost the jewel-encrusted formal gowns. The casinos had started to open up to people of all social classes and a more casual look was in.

If the 1990s dress codes were casual, in the 21st century flexibility has been the rule. Men can rock up in their suits and the ladies in their cocktail dresses if they wish. Or they can be more fashionista and go with trends or against them. It’s important to note that as the day progresses, casino dress codes tend to become more formal.

Dressing for the casino

It’s always best to check the casino website for the dress code. There are several different types, such as:

  • Black tie
  • White tie
  • Black tie optional
  • Business formal/casual
  • Semi-formal
  • Smart casual

Black tie events are formal and generally require men to wear a dinner jacket, white shirt, bow tie and dress shoes, whereas women should slip into a formal gown, cocktail dress or even a pantsuit.

For black tie optional events, the rule is simple: go as formal as you can. Men can wear dark suits, a conservative tie, a white dress shirt, dark dress socks and leather dress shoes. If they own a tuxedo, they should wear it. Women should wear an evening gown or cocktail dress. 

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.