Nothing’s sadder than a happy showbiz smile with rotten teeth. In fact, that’s what abandoned casino’s look like. What used to be a promise about luck, fortune and having a good time, is turned into the hard truth of economic reality. Buildings that were used to exhibit happiness, fun and success are now breathing disappointment, sadness and loss. Since online gambling has made a giant leap and casino games such as poker and blackjack are played behind a screen at home, there’s a reason to be worried about the future of casinos as the happy smile of the city.
A lot of people say to hate urban design that ‘shouts’, like neon letters and light signs in city centers and tourist strips. But as soon as they’re on a crossing they’ll also choose to walk in the direction of the lights. Late night bars, sex clubs and casinos know how to use the power of seductive urban design. I’ve always been intrigued by the abundance of lights and colors of casinos. It makes the night bright and the evening colorful. But right here decay looks even sadder then anywhere else.
The sadness of abandoned casinos can be best witnessed in the Russian autonomous republic of Tatarstan, since all gambling houses and terminals were forbidden from 2006 in favor of a newly created entertainment zone in the town of Kamskiye Polyany. Nevertheless, two years later the prohibition of gambling business spread along the whole of Russia, except for four gambling zones. Kamskiye Polyany was not among those lucky four, which led to a landscape of freshly built picturesque ruined casinos.
Also American cities such as Detroit and Reno face a huge amount of abandoned casinos, mainly caused by economic transformations. The King’s Inn Casino in Reno is all boarded up, but at least they painted the plywood to match the rest of the casino and decorated it with a cityscape motif. Also In Las Vegas casino failures can be witnessed, mainly outside the touristic entertainment strip. Then there’s the Big Easy, an abandoned floating casino that travels around the world waiting for its first gamblers on board. So, if you like to play roulette, poker or blackjack, get away from the screen and find yourself a great blinking and shining casino…