The Evolution of Casino Fashion: From Saloons to Modern Gaming Floors

min read
Two people in formal attire in a lounge.
BetMGM Dec 04, 2023, 12:01 PM

If you ask someone to picture quintessential casino night attire, they will likely imagine evening gowns or cocktail dresses, black suits, ties, and expensive jewelry. Despite the ever-changing nature of casino attire, people’s perception of casino fashion remains steadfast — mainly due to how it is portrayed in Hollywood.

So, have casino clothing trends changed since they were first introduced? How have they changed? Who are the characters who have influenced the industry the most? Will it evolve even more with the monumental growth of online casino games

Get the answer to all of these questions in the blog below.

Early Casino Fashion

Casinos were first introduced in the 1920s in Europe and were undoubtedly positioned as a playground for elite society. So, it was common for casino evenings to be elegant, sophisticated, and glamorous. These were the black-tie events that were soon made synonymous with casinos. Women donned elegant evening gowns, and men wore tuxedos or suits. The perfect outfit for a poker evening often required going to a tailor first for a perfect fit.

Despite the glitz and glam of the casino scene in Europe, it certainly wasn’t the case worldwide. In fact, the situation in America was very different. Gambling was an activity that was more popular with the working class and was mainly enjoyed by laborers or immigrants. The upper class stayed clear of the “shady” saloons where the earliest casinos were based. If the wealthy did decide to try their hand at a spot of gambling, it was usually organized on a special riverboat in high-stakes, glamorous affairs.

The Hollywood Effect

The casino dress code had started to simmer down to something a little more informal around the 1950s when it moved to more cocktail attire rather than black tie. However, Hollywood had other ideas, and several iconic movies and people influenced the industry and ushered high fashion back onto the scene.

James Bond

Probably the most renowned casino character in the world, James Bond has always played a considerable role in casino fashion. Impeccable style, luxurious clothing, and “shaken not stirred” are synonymous with his casino experience, and the many movies and books undoubtedly impacted how people expected to dress when they visited casinos. His tailored suits and other formal wear created a wave of casino attire inspiration.

Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack

Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack were casino regulars in the 1950s and 1960s, and their fashion sense influenced the attire in a big way. Their dress sense was a bit of luxury, a bit of culture, and a bit more casual than people had become accustomed to. Yes, they still wore suits, but they moved away from the quintessential black tie tuxedos to something a little more casual, and the masses soon followed.

Ocean’s 11

One of the most iconic casino movies made in modern times, “Ocean’s 11” had quite an impact on the industry’s fashion. The movie’s cast wore sleek and modern suits, which were soon adopted by casino goers for special occasions on the floor, like high-stakes poker nights or charity poker events.

Today’s Casino Floor Attire

Today’s casinos drastically differ from those you would have experienced in the 1900s. There has been a definite shift away from the highly formal dress code many casinos had in place, and most casinos now simply expect people to come smart-casual.

Keep in mind, however, that a couple of things could influence how you dress at a casino. The time of day is a significant consideration. If you’re visiting a casino over lunch or in the afternoon, chances are you can go looking relatively relaxed. After 18:00, things will probably change, and you’d be expected to clean up a bit and put on something a little more smart-casual than casual.

Always remember to check the particular casino’s dress code before you arrive.

Black tie casino dress codes still exist, but these are generally reserved for special events and occasions hosted at casinos.

Online Casino Fashion

Of course, you can’t talk about today’s casinos without mentioning the burgeoning online casino industry. More and more people play casino games online, with online slots, poker, baccarat, blackjack, and more on offer.

Half the joy of playing online games is that you don’t have to get out of your comfortable clothes. Online casino culture and fashion are all about embracing this and enjoying the convenience of playing casino games from home, on your way to work, when you’re on vacation, and so on. 

Embrace the Change With BetMGM

Whether you’re looking to hit the jackpot slots in Las Vegas or stay at home to enjoy a game of online poker, BetMGM has the best of both worlds. The casino industry and its fashion trends are constantly changing, with tech now redefining style, too, and BetMGM is right at the forefront of every innovative evolution. Play casino games, bet on sports, read interesting blogs, and more.

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Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.