The Evolution Of The Wagering Dress Code From Harlem To Hollywood

When you’re gearing up for a big night, one question always remains – what am I going to wear?

Planning your next trip to a high-flying casino is no different and, depending on where you choose to play, each location can have its own rules when it comes to how to dress. Whilst staying in and playing a few games with Griffon casino is an equally as exciting option, we all like a night on the town every now and again.

With all of this in mind, we’ve put together a quick little guide on dress codes at the casino, and how they vary.



In the beginning …

At the very beginning of the casino’s popularity, the gaming location had primarily been associated with the rich and upper classes. And, at this time, the easiest way to display your wealth was in the way that you dressed. With the upper classes filling the casinos with such a high standard of fashion, the owners of these establishments soon found that they wanted to maintain this standard. Therefore, a dress code was introduced and made compulsory if you wished to be granted entry into the casino.

The harshness of these rules was gradually relaxed over the years, with the prenotion of class thankfully taking the back burner. However, you’ll often find that there’s still a certain expectation on how prospective players should dress when they visit the casino, with the minimum requirement being smart casual.

Style influences…

Nowadays, when you visit the casino, you’ll find a whole host of slot machines that have been influenced by pop culture. Alternatively, there’s also a range of films that use the casino as the focal point for their most high-tension scenes. But as you’re about to find out, the casino also takes inspiration from another area of our media consumption.

Casino dress codes in the ‘60s were thought to have been heavily influenced by famous musicians such as Sammy Davis Junior and Frank Sinatra, as these sultry characters would often be found taking their chances on the gaming tables of the Las Vegas strip. Dressed in sharp suits and doused in swagger, they quickly became idols for other players, demonstrating how the casino could also be a social venue, as well as the top spot for gaming sessions.

Dress codes…

Depending on where you play, the dress code requirements will alter. At the top end of the spectrum, and settling as the most formal of all the dress codes, we have a black tie. Thought to have originated at some point during the 19th century, this ensemble features a tuxedo for men and a cocktail dress, ballgown or pantsuit for women. At your local gaming establishment, you’re unlikely to have to don the black-tie dress code, but places like Casino Monte-Carlo and VIP events in Atlantic City or Las Vegas will still insist on it.

The more common dress code is semi-formal and requires a considerably paired-down version of the black tie. Regular suits and tailored trousers, alongside more casual dresses, are what to expect. The look is still formal in parts, but with a little more comfort.

In a lot of casinos, a dress code won’t actually be enforced, rather than just being preferred. So, it’s better to dress smart than not, to spare yourself an awkward moment or two.

Photo credit: Rat Pack in Casion with Harlem Sammy Davis Jr.,

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Harlem World Magazine is about living your best life and style around the block and around the world of Harlem.

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