Casinos offer the perfect blend of fun, excitement, food and a huge variety of people, all conveniently located in one massive, glittering place. In the early days of casinos, a very formal dress code was enforced. Women wore furs and jewels, and men wouldn’t think of entering in anything but a sharp suit. Over the past decades, as the casino industry has exploded and society has become more casual in general, casino dress codes have become increasingly more relaxed. The days of dressing your best and sipping martinis at the tables, James Bond style, are long gone.
If you are heading to a European casino, you will find the clientele is generally much better dressed than their American counterparts. For American casinos, the dress code often seems to be akin to the one McDonald’s uses: “no shirt, no shoes, no slots.” Where you’re hanging out on the Las Vegas Strip or chilling at a local hole in the wall, you’ll see a huge range of ensembles, from shorts and t-shirts to designer labels. Anything goes, and fashion isn’t always the top priority. The dressed-down look of some patrons has even prompted a bit of backlash in Atlantic City, where the Tropicana Casino and Resort recently began enforcing a dress code for late-night visitors in certain areas of the complex. Baggy jeans, work boots or work shoes, t-shirts, inappropriate athletic gear or similar dress will land you back outside the doors.
• If you’re packing for a trip to Las Vegas, Atlantic City or some smaller venue, the idea is simple: think casual! Most casinos offer no formal dress code, so you will want to dress comfortably without being tasteless. There’s already enough of that to go around. Clothing that is clean and presentable (not ragged or torn) is a must.
• Keep in mind that the season will be important to consider when you’re deciding what to wear to the casino. Las Vegas is hot, hot, hot in the summer (the average is 107 in July), but inside the casinos the air conditioning is always pumping. You may want to bring a light wrap if you get easily chilled. For lounging by the pool or anytime you will be outside, don’t forget the sunblock and moisturizer.
• Comfortable shoes are a must. Most casinos are huge and attractions are spread out, so your three-inch patent leather heels may not be the best footwear choice. Keep shoes flat or low-heeled and you’ll be glad you did the next morning.
• If you’re headed out for a night at one of the high-end casinos, dress is nicer than what you’ll see during the day. Jeans, slacks, buttoned-down shirts, trendy dresses and skirts are all good choices.
If you plan to head to a local nightclub after some gambling, be aware that clubs and lounges enforce strict dress codes. Shorts, sandals, flip-flops, t-shirts and baggy pants won’t even get you in the door. Dress to impress, and you’ll find yourself in good company.