If you’ve ever seen a casino in the movies, you will usually see guests impeccably turned out in designer tuxedos and fabulous dresses. In the real world, however, this is often not the case. In fact, casino dress codes have relaxed considerably over the years.
You will now find a variety of rules when it comes to casino wear, ranging from full formal dress to relaxed and casual. If you do your casino gaming online, of course, then you are used to the idea of a casino without a dresscode! But if you’re planning on being there in person, what should you wear?
General Casino Dress Code Rules
The starting point should usually be to check out the website of the casino you are planning to visit, which should offer guidance on what you should or shouldn’t wear. Still, there are some general rules to follow that can help to ensure that you won’t be turned away at the door:
- Never opt for sneakers or flip flops.
- Avoid dirty or torn clothes.
- Remember that dress codes can be more formal at night than in the day.
- Bear in mind the dress code may differ in other parts of a casino complex.
- Generally, the more luxurious the casino, the better you should dress.
Casino Dress Codes Explained
You may find that the casino simply uses a single phrase such as ‘white tie’ or ‘casual’ to explain their dress code. But what do these codes mean?
Considered the fullest level of formality, and usually only required at high-end casinos on special occasions. For men, this means fitted black dress coats, white tux shirts with bib fronts, wing collars, shirt studs, white bow tie and black leather shoes, while for women, the code requires a floor-length gown or ballgown, small purse and elegant jewelry.
More common than the full white tie code, black tie is still far from the norm in most casinos and is almost always reserved for evening events or some VIP lounges. To conform to this code, men are required to wear a dinner jacket, button-down collared shirt, tie or bow tie and black formal shoes. A waistcoat or cummerbund can be worn, but this is usually considered optional.
For women, cocktail dresses can be appropriate under this code, as long as they are ‘tasteful’, while floor-length gowns are still preferable, and a well-cut pantsuit is usually acceptable. Evening shoes with a heel are also usually part of the black-tie code, and the best tone to go for is simple and elegant, focusing on dark or rich colors and clean, classical accessories.
Black Tie Optional
This can be considered the next level down in terms of dress codes. The rules are the same as for the black-tie code, and for women, there is practically no difference, though a wider variety of colors will be acceptable, and formal ballgowns are far less common. For men, on the other hand, black tie optional means that you can get away with changing up your suit color, as long as it is a dark tone, and in some casinos, you may not need a jacket, as long as you are wearing a white shirt and tie.
The semi-formal code is usually reserved for morning events at top-class casinos and is considerably less formal than other options. Men can do away with the tuxedo altogether and even opt for a more casual wool or cashmere suit, and ties are not required. For women, there’s greater freedom over the choice of dress and shoes, and classy separates or short dresses are acceptable, though it is a good idea to stick to darker colors for evenings and lighter tones for daytime.
Some casinos will mention business formal and business casual, but these two categories are very similar to semi-formal and casual, which is the most relaxed of casino dress codes.
As you might expect, casual does not mean you can dress however you please. Men are not required to wear suits and ties, and there are generally no rules on colors or patterns. Plain T-shirts and jeans are also usually acceptable, although never ripped jeans, and shorts may only be worn during the daytime. The shorts rule also applies to women, but otherwise, there is a lot of leeways here, so anything from sundresses to jeans will be fine for your visit.