As a tour guide in Copenhagen, I often found myself leading curious travelers through the city's rich history, vibrant culture, and scenic landscapes. Little did I know that one day, I would be on an entirely different adventure—a journey into the glittering world of gambling.
My group for the day consisted of four lively Russian tourists, all aged between 55 and 60. Their enthusiasm for exploration was infectious, and together we had already covered many of Copenhagen's iconic landmarks. As the afternoon sun began its descent, casting a warm golden glow over the city, one of the gentlemen turned to me with a twinkle in his eye.
“Do you like gambling?” he asked.
I chuckled and replied, “Well, it's not really my cup of tea. I've only ever seen my older family members indulge in such pastimes. Besides, in today’s economy, even if I wanted to, what belonging do I have to gamble with anyway? Maybe my lunch tomorrow or the pair of second-hand running shoes I am wearing.”
The group burst into laughter. Their camaraderie and playful spirit put me at ease.
As we strolled through the streets of Copenhagen, our destination came into view. The Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel and Casino Copenhagen shared the same towering building, a testament to their partnership and commitment to providing a unique experience for their guests. The casino itself was located on the lower floors, hidden behind elegant glass doors that whispered promises of excitement and opulence. It was a place where time seemed to stand still as patrons tried their luck at the various games of chance.
I had expected that my tourists would become discouraged like many others upon learning about the entry fee and the drink prices here. However, to my surprise, I was mistaken. As we entered, the first thing that struck me was the air thick with anticipation. The group members exchanged glances, their curiosity piqued. The interior was a blend of elegance and extravagance with a hint of vintage charm.
The group began to explore the offerings. The gentlemen took a particular interest in the blackjack tables while the ladies decided to treat themselves to some overpriced beverages. I felt a bit out of place because I noticed the casino had a strict dress code. I saw no sportswear, caps, or sunglasses. It was obvious they wanted to maintain a certain atmosphere.
Despite my reservations about gambling, I couldn't deny the electric atmosphere in the room. The sound of cards shuffling, the clinking of chips, and the occasional cheers from winners filled the air. As the evening unfolded, the group decided to try their luck at some slot machines, carefully navigating the rules and etiquette of the casino. They were soon engrossed in the world of spinning reels and flashing lights, hoping for that elusive jackpot.
I, on the other hand, watched from the sidelines, content to observe the thrill of the game without participating. The hours passed swiftly, and as the night descended upon Copenhagen, our Russian friends had experienced the highs and lows of the casino world.
When they left, it was with mixed feelings—a blend of excitement and caution. They had tasted the allure of Casino Copenhagen. It wasn’t with the lunch or the running shoes I might have wagered, but it was most certainly an adventure of sorts.
Written by Mahmudun Nabi.
Cover photo by Carl Raw.