What to Wear at a Casino – Dress to Impress

what to wear at a casino - featured image

what to wear at a casino - featured image

When you think of casinos, what comes to mind? Poker chips, roulette wheels, and people dressed like Bond, James Bond or famous actresses, right? While those are all staples of casino culture, it isn’t always necessary to dress up. So, what is the casino dress code? Do you dress up or keep it casual? In today’s article, we’ll give you some sartorial tips on what to wear to a casino, so you can look your best and feel like a million bucks.

General Rules

While James Bond and A-list actresses attend gala nights at the most luxurious and exclusive casinos in the world, you don’t need to be quite so formal when you visit your local casino. 

Most of the time, smart casual is fine, but on special occasions, you should dress more formally. You can always check the casino‘s dress code on its website.

However, there are a few general rules that you should follow when choosing what to wear to a casino. First and foremost, remember that casinos are businesses. They want you to spend money and have a good time, but they also want to ensure their other customers are comfortable. With that in mind, it’s important to avoid anything that would make other people feel ill at ease, such as:

Clothes that are too revealing or suggestive
Offensive or profane clothing
Garments with holes or rips
Inappropriate shoes (e.g., open-toe sandals).

Of course, you’ll also want to ensure you’re not underdressed. While it’s perfectly fine to wear jeans and a t-shirt, you might feel out of place if everyone else is dressed up. In general, it’s best to err on the side of being slightly overdressed rather than underdressed. 

No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to gamble. 

Casino Dress Code

While the dress code at most casinos is smart casual, some are more strict. For example, many casinos in Las Vegas have a dress code for their poker rooms. Players are typically not allowed to wear tank tops, flip-flops, or other beachwear. At the same time, accessing the slot hall requires little to no special apparel.

As you can see, various casino areas may require different casino attire, especially if they incorporate a restaurant or a nightclub. Fortunately, such information is widely accessible on the casino’s website, although it seldom specifies what you should wear. Instead, it just states “business formal” or “black tie optional.” So, we’ll go through each of them and provide some examples.

White Tie

This is the most formal dress code, and people only have to follow it for special occasions like gala nights. Seldom a requirement, it’s usually for invitation-only events. If you get an invitation, it will clearly state what to wear to the casino. It’s best to go for something more formal or contact the casino for more details in case you’re still unsure whether your event requires white-tie attire.

For men, a white tie outfit typically consists of:

Evening tailcoat 
Black trousers with a satin stripe down the side
White dress shirt with a stiff front
White evening waistcoat
White bow tie
Black tuxedo
Black patent leather shoes
Top hat (optional)
White gloves (optional)

For women, a white-tie outfit typically consists of:

Floor-length evening gown
Stilleto heel shoes
Opera-length gloves (optional)
Small clutch bag (optional)
Formal jewellery (optional)
Bolero vest or fur wrap (optional)

Black Tie

Black-tie casino outfits are a more relaxed version of the white tie but still quite formal and typically required for events such as charity balls, dinner parties, and other similar occasions.

For men, a black tie outfit typically consists of:

Black tuxedo
White dress shirt with a stiff front
Black trousers with a satin stripe down the side
Black bow tie
Black patent leather shoes
Waistcoat (optional)
Cufflinks (optional)

For women, a black tie outfit typically consists of:

Evening gown or cocktail dress
A pantsuit is also acceptable
Evening shoes with a heel
Formal jewellery (optional)
Small clutch bag (optional)

Black Tie Optional

Although less formal than “black tie,” the “black tie optional” dress code still encourages guests to don formal attire whenever possible but leaves room for those who don’t own or don’t want to wear a suit to feel comfortable. This dress code is typically seen at red carpet events, award ceremonies, and other occasions.

For men, black tie optional typically consists of:

Black tuxedo or dark-coloured suit
Regular white dress shirt or one with a stiff front
Matching trousers
Black bow tie or long tie
Black patent leather shoes
Waistcoat (optional)
Cufflinks (optional)

The black-tie optional casino outfit for ladies does not differ much from the black-tie dress code; it just allows for more colour, and cocktail dresses are more acceptable. It typically consists of:

Evening gown or cocktail dress
A pantsuit is also acceptable
Evening shoes with a heel
Formal jewellery (optional)
Small clutch bag (optional)

Semi-Formal

You can leave the tuxedo and gown at home for a semi-formal dress night. We are moving into less formal waters, but you shouldn’t relax just yet. This dress code still requires attention to detail if you want to get it right.

For men, semi-formal typically consists of:

Dark suit or sports coat/jacket
Matching trousers
Dress shirt with a collar
Tie (optional)
Dress shoes

For women, semi-formal typically consists of:

A cocktail dress or any other below-the-knee dress
Skirt and blouse
Dress shoes with a heel

Business Formal

This is the most common dress code that everyone is familiar with, and it’s a dress code casinos will often use for their events and VIP areas. 

For men, business formal attire typically consists of:

Dress shirt with a collar
Tie
Blazer or suit jacket
Dress trousers
Classic derby or oxford shoes

For women, business formal attire typically consists of:

Blazer or jacket
Blouse or shirt with a collar
Pencil skirt or pantsuit
Dress shoes

Business Casual

The “business casual” dress code is a more relaxed version of the business formal dress code and the one most people are used to. This dress code is mainly seen in office settings and is more common in America than in Europe.

For men, business casual typically consists of:

Dress shirt with a collar or polo shirt
Slack or khaki pants
Blazer or suit jacket (optional)
Loafers or dress shoes (no sneakers)

For women, business casual typically consists of:

Blouse or shirt with a collar
Skirt, pants, or khakis
Dress shoes (no sneakers)
Blazer or jacket (optional)

Smart Casual

Smart casual is the most common casino dress code, but it alone doesn’t say much. So what does it mean? It means that you just need to put in a bit of effort, and you’ll be allowed into the establishment. It’s best described as well-fitted casual wear, the kind of clothing you’d wear to work even if there weren’t a strict dress code.

For men, smart casual attire typically consists of:

Collared shirt 
Khaki pants or dark jeans
Dress shoes or loafers

For women, smart casual attire typically consists of:

Blouse or shirt
Skirt, slacks, or capri pants
Dress shoes or flats

Casual

The “casual” dress code is the most relaxed of all the dress codes and is typically seen in more laid-back settings such as barbecues, picnics, and your friend’s game nights, but not so much in a casino. As you’ll see in a minute, some casinos have strict no-sandals or flip-flop policies, so we recommend avoiding them in your casual casino clothing.

For men, casual attire typically consists of:

T-shirt or polo shirt
Jeans or shorts
Sneakers or sandals

For women, casual attire typically consists of:

T-shirt or blouse
Jeans or shorts
Skirts or sundresses
Sneakers or sandals

The Dress Code of Famous Casinos

While each casino is different, most adhere to the same general dress code but have varying definitions of a business casual casino outfit. After all, they wouldn’t be making a lot if they turned away guests for not being dressed to their liking. That said, some are more lenient than others, while others have specific dress codes for certain areas of the casino.

Aspers Stratford – London

One of the largest casinos in the United Kingdom, the Aspers Stratford first welcomed guests in December 2011. The casino is located in Olympic Park, which hosted the Summer Olympics in 2012. Naturally, you can find any type of game, including poker. You should be aware that there are slight differences when playing poker online and in a casino. 

Once you get the hang of it, you can register for one of many Aspers poker tournaments. No, you will not need to buy expensive casino clothing for such an occasion. The dress code is smart casual with the following exceptions: 

Headcover of any kind is not permitted. 
No work uniforms.
No extreme wording on the clothing is allowed.
Vests.
Sleeveless shirts.
Tracksuits.
Cut-off or ripped jeans or any other clothing.
Swimming shorts.
Steel-capped shoes.
Trainers.
Nothing with adult images or slogans.

Due to the casino’s proximity to the London Stadium, on West Ham United FC match days, the away team jerseys, shirts or any other clothing depicting said team is not allowed to be worn within the casino.

Hippodrome Casino – London

The Hippodrome Casino is located in Leicester Square and first opened its doors to the public in 2012. The building was originally a theatre that could accommodate more than 2,000 people and was one of the most popular music halls of its day. 

Today, the casino has three floors with hundreds of slot machines and gaming tables. Unlike other casinos, the Hippodrome does not have a dress code. So, what to wear to a casino night at the Hippodrome? 

The safe bet is smart casual. Avoid any clothing with profanity or garments that are too revealing. You’ll want to dress to the nines (or higher) if it’s a special occasion. By that, we mean semi-formal or above. 

Rainbow Casino – Birmingham 

The history of the original Rainbow Casino building is fascinating. Mr Gillott erected it in 1859 as a Gentlemen’s Residence. It was afterwards sold and became the Grey Friars Hotel, which was later sold to British Rail, who used it as a workers’ hostel. 

Just like anything that British Rail touches, it too fell into disrepair and was abandoned until the Morrell family bought it and turned it into Casno in 1962. It changed hands one more time when Double Diamond Gaming Ltd. purchased it but has continued to run as a casino. 

The casino has kept its original design and offers a unique experience. Its staff also provides free training for all games, making it an ideal place to learn how to play roulette or baccarat.

You’d expect such a casino to have a strict dress code, but the dress code is smart casual, ideal for casual casino outfits. Just follow the basic rules, and you should be fine. 

Casino de Monte-Carlo – Monaco

The Casino de Monte-Carlo is the most renowned casino in the world. The aristocratic casino has hosted many James Bond films, including “Never Say Never Again” and “GoldenEye.” The building itself is a masterpiece, with an incredible atrium that will take your breath away. 

Many people believe you must dress at least business casual to enter, although this is not the case. The dress code is “smart casual,” which means you can come in as long as you’re wearing well-fitted casual casino clothes. Keep in mind, though, that you won’t be allowed to enter the main casino area if you wear the following clothing items:

Bermudas or shorts 
Jeans with holes
Sportswear
Running shoes
Flip-flops
Sandals for men only
Beachwear
Sleeveless shirts

If you have any of these on, you may access the slot area, store, and restaurant, but not the gaming tables section.

Now that you know the dress code for different casinos, you should have no trouble deciding what to wear to a casino. Just remember to be respectful of the establishment and dress appropriately. One more thing – if you learn the frequently used casino jargon, you’ll blend in perfectly. 

Bottom Line

Casino dress codes are not as strict as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean you can show up in whatever you want. There’s still a certain level of decorum expected in most casinos, so it’s always best to dress slightly more formally than you think is necessary.

If you’re ever in doubt, just remember this rule of thumb: it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. You can always take off a jacket or tie if you feel like you’re overdressed, but you can’t exactly put on a pair of dress shoes if you don’t have them with you.

FAQ

What should a woman wear to a casino night?

Nights in casinos usually have stricter rules about what is acceptable, so walking in wearing your regular night-out outfit will not be allowed in most cases. Any night casino outfit for ladies should be elegant and stylish. 

A blouse or a button-down shirt looks great with slacks (no jeans), a mid-length skirt, and appropriate shoes. You may also wear a cocktail dress. Just remember that your skirt or dress should not be too short or revealing.

What should I wear to a casino for the first time?

It will depend on the time of day and the casino you are visiting. Most casinos are okay with smart casual, but you still want to be sure you look decent enough, so we suggest wearing at least business casual. If any of those terms are unfamiliar, check out our “What To Wear at a Casino” article.

What should you not wear to a casino?

Do not wear anything that looks old and dirty. Yes, that means lose the lucky T-shirt you have been wearing since college. Avoid clothing that would make anyone else uncomfortable around you, including garments that are too revealing or suggestive. Do not wear flip-flops or sandals. Sneakers should be avoided as well, just to be on the safe side.

Author: Michael Jenkins