Casino Marienlyst: History of Denmark’s first Casino

Casino Marienlyst visit
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Originally built in 1859 in Helsingør as an in-land health resort and later in 1902 expanded as a casino.

This was Denmark’s first casino, renowned for being the most elegant in the country, and until 1990 when the Danish Gambling act was passed, the only casino of its kind, where you can now play games similar to what you would find at AmazonSlots Casino.

What makes this casino so special is that then crown prince and later King Frederik VIII granted this casino special permission to operate and allowed it to use the crown on its swallow-tailed flag.


During the late 19th century, the Oresund coast became very popular with wealthy citizens from Copenhagen. It was during this time that J. S. Nathanson rented the Marienlyst House with the intention of opening a spa, drawing inspiration from his visits to spa towns in Germany.

Nathanson made full use of the reputation of the nearby Kronborg Castle. This castle was known for having inspired the story of Hamlet. He renamed the spring behind the house Ophelia’s Spring and even went so far as to construct a grave for Hamlet in a publicity stunt.

However, he went bankrupt after charging an architect with the design of a new building. The Helsingør Municipality took charge of the building, and the hotel was later bought by a private consortium in 1883.

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The hotel was expanded with a restaurant and hotel, and a building used for concerts and theatre and became very popular with the royalty.

For the next few years, the hotel often housed royalty, both national and international Anders Jensen acquired the hotel in 1897, and it was during his time that the casino was incorporated into the hotel buildings.

Over the course of the next couple of decades, the hotel served in many roles; most notably, it was used by the occupying German forces during the second world war. The hotel was later used for German refugees after the end of the war until 1947.

During the 80s and 90s, the hotel went through various crises. Since 2008, the Danish National team has used the hotel during their training sessions and while playing home matches.

In 2013 storm Bodil damaged the buildings, and in 2014 the buildings were extensively refurbished, and an extension was added shortly after in 2017.

Current times

These days Marienlyst Casino is no longer part of the sprawling Marienlyst Seafront Hotel. However, guests from the hotel who stay the night still have free roam to enter the casino, which is located at each end of the casino.

Before the casino opens each night at 19:00, a “funny and instructive” seminar is held where you are taught all about roulette and blackjack before the doors open. Casino Marienlyst features several live table games such as Blackjack, American Roulette, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker in their stunning poker lounge.

Also available is the latest in slot games with a jackpot of 2 million DKK, so along with the rich history, there is a lot to play for inside the walls of the Marienlyst Casino.

Etiquette at the Marienlyst Casino

Much like any other casinos, first-time visitors of the Marienlyst should be made aware of some of the faux pax when visiting the casino.

Know the rules

Firstly, you should spend some time knowing the rules of the game you want to play, be it roulette, blackjack, etc.

Although the staff in the Marienlyst are very friendly and staff will always help you if you have any questions, they’re there to work and you should be mindful of the other players around you who may be seasoned gamblers at the casino. The best thing to do is to wait until a few hands are dealth and then put some money down when you feel confident.

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Also, for different table games there will be minimum and maximum bets for each table, so make sure you find out the rules for each game to save yourself any embarrassment.

Put your phone away

Although you may want to take as many pictures as possible to ensure you never forget the great memories you can have at the Marienlyst, the casino is not the ideal place to be constantly on your phone.

Whilst at the Marienlyst, try your best to put your phone away and enjoy the atmosphere at the casino. The Marienlyst has a rich history and is a part of Denmark’s gaming history.

Also, the majority of the time, you won’t be allowed to use your phone whilst sitting at the table. The best thing to do is to enjoy what the casinos has to offer and make sure you are as engaged as possible.


At the Marienlyst Casino, they have a relaxed dress code but want all their guests to dress nicely. Smart casual and black tie are suggested and as long as you don’t wear any sportswear and streetwear you’ll have no problem getting into the casino.

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