The Ins and Outs of Footwear in Casinos

min read
Man ties laces on formal shoes Ins and outs of footwear in casinos
BetMGM Aug 10, 2023, 11:15 AM

Imagine you’re visiting a classy land-based casino only to be told that you’re not allowed in because of what you’re wearing – your footwear, in particular. If you’re used to playing online casino games, you’re probably not asking the question “What do you wear to a casino?” or “What’s the best outfit for a poker night?” and you might not be aware that the vast majority of traditional casinos enforce a strict casino dress code. 

To avoid any footwear mishaps it’s important to know what footwear is and isn’t allowed. Here’s what you need to know if you’re wondering what to wear on your feet and how to dress to ensure stress-free entry to a casino when you decide to take a break from online slots and play your favorite casino games on the casino floor instead.

What Type of Footwear Is Allowed in a Casino?

Some land-based casinos insist on full-blown formal casino attire, but most only expect their patrons to show up wearing smart-casual attire – and that expectation extends to your footwear. In short, sandals and flip-flops just aren’t going to cut it.

Men have a choice between stylish leather shoes and loafers, but if you find these to be a bit too restrictive or not really your “thing,” you’re also likely to be able to get away with donning a pair of classic black or white sneakers. Just make sure that they’re clean and in good overall condition.  

Women, on the other hand, have a choice between heels and flats. It’s a common misconception that women are expected to wear heels – and only heels – when visiting a traditional casino. This almost always isn’t the case. In fact, many people see wearing heels in a casino as a faux pas, especially considering how you’ll likely be doing your fair share of walking and standing around the casino floor. After all, sore, achy feet, or worse, a twisted ankle from a clumsy stumble, are sure to put a damper on your experience.

Is Comfort or Style More Important?

Ideally, you should aim to strike a balance between the two. If you’re not used to wearing heels, it would be dangerous to do so when going to a casino. Instead, you should opt for shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. If you’re used to playing online slots for money, then know that the land-based experience may require you to be on your feet for quite some time, so comfort remains an important consideration.

When taking a break from the virtual poker or blackjack online casino experience or whatever casino games you enjoy, bear in mind that there are certain guidelines regarding attire and footwear in actual casinos that you need to adhere to. That’s not to say that the footwear you choose must be overly extravagant and not functional, but it must be smart enough to indicate that you’re about to enter a casino. 

What About the Rest of Your Outfit?

While most modern-day casinos have adopted a smart-casual dress code, they are usually a lot stricter about enforcing it after the sun sets than they are during the daytime. The golden rule of dressing appropriately for a visit to a casino is to steer clear of sandals, sportswear and shorts. Instead, men should opt to slip on a button-up shirt and a pair of fitted, untorn jeans or slacks, accompanied by a stylish blazer. Women should choose blouses and office-friendly trousers, midi-dresses, cocktail dresses or a classic combination of a top and a pencil skirt.

If the casino has a formal dress code in place, you can feel free to step it up a notch and throw on your classy black-tie attire, such as a suit or a full-length evening gown.

Here’s what the different dress codes mean.


This is typically for when you go to the casino at night, be it to gamble or attend an event hosted there. Bow ties and waistcoats can be great additions for men, while women can opt for long dresses.  


Interestingly, this is considered the most formal of the attire options and is often preferred for private events. Tiaras and gloves are acceptable accessories for women while matching sets or suits are a great option for men.


This attire option is ideal for daytime visits to the casino and is a cross between formal and more relaxed clothing. Semi-formal wear is something that most people are accustomed to; it’s a lot less formal than the black-tie and white-tie options yet still quite modest and accommodating of establishments such as casinos.

Business Formal

If you’re a bit confused about what this entails, just picture what you’d typically wear to a corporate office job. Think blazers, pencil skirts, collared shirts and formal pants. Again, this is an attire option that’s most suitable for daytime visits to the casino.

Simply put, when it comes to what to wear to a casino, some might even say that it’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed to avoid being rejected at the entrance. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong emulating some of the classic casino-style icons from the past.

How To Avoid Embarrassment

If you want to make doubly sure that your chosen outfit and footwear will get a nod of approval at the casino entrance, it’s always a good idea to call ahead of time to ask for the details regarding the dress code for the casino. Alternatively, check the website and the various terms and conditions before making your way to the establishment.

It’s also worthwhile to chat with other people who’ll be coming along to the casino to find out exactly what they are planning on wearing. While it’s embarrassing to arrive wearing shorts, a T-shirt and sandals, it’s sure to be equally awkward to arrive wearing an expensive suit when everyone else has opted for a simple collared shirt and slacks combo.

Why Does the Casino Dress Code Exist?

A group of well-dressed casino patrons.

The dress code exists for many reasons. Ultimately, casino owners work hard to provide their patrons with a glitzy and glamorous atmosphere and experience on a special evening out. To do this, their patrons’ attire must match the environment.

If you look at the history of casinos, it’s evident that policies surrounding wearing more formal attire when playing casino games date back well over 100 years. Only the richest and most elite individuals could afford to take part in these games back then. In fact, many casinos were not open to any other social classes. As such, patrons were required to demonstrate their wealth through their chosen attire to gain entry. Old habits die hard and despite today’s casinos being accessible to everyone and more relaxed, dress codes do remain.

Many gamblers believe that casino dress codes exist to boost their confidence when out on the floor, often resulting in them gambling with bigger bankrolls. If you’re strict about sticking to your budget, however, you can benefit from this confidence boost and play your favorite casino games without worrying about spending money that you don’t have. So remember to always gamble responsibly.

Forget Dress Codes When You Choose Online Gambling

Don’t fret if the thought of casino dress codes has got you down or prevented you from taking part in the past. There is an easy way around these dress codes if you can’t seem to part with your comfortable sandals. Simply opt to visit an online casino as opposed to a traditional, land-based one. When you play at a casino online, you can decide to spin the reels in a t-shirt and shorts or dominate at the poker table while in your lucky pajamas. 

The ability to wear whatever you want is just one notable advantage of gambling online instead of in person. You’ll also enjoy the freedom to play online poker or participate in online sports betting whenever the mood strikes, rather than having to make special arrangements, organize transport and invite your friends ahead of time.

Finally, there is a broad selection of popular casino games right at your fingertips, along with a choice between playing some games for free or others using real money.

In short, “freedom” is the name of the game when choosing online gambling.

Discover the Fun of Online Casino Gaming at BetMGM

BetMGM offers easy access to all of your go-to casino table games, as well as user-friendly online sports betting. To explore the fantastic collection of casino games to play, whether you’re experienced or still learning how to play poker in a casino, register with BetMGM via the mobile portal. You can do this using your desktop or your mobile device for ultimate convenience. Enjoy!

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.