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Casinos on the Côte d'Azur's insider take:

Breaking the bank at the Monte Carlo Casino has happened once, and only once—in 1891. To give it a try, you'll need to cough up at least $14 at the door and put on a jacket and tie (Place du Casino; 377-92-16-20-00; Gambling on the Côte d'Azur is all downhill from that splendorous Belle Époque palace, however. French efforts to replicate Monte Carlo's glamour have a decidedly second-rate feel—Reno to Monaco's Vegas. Nice's Palais de la Mediterrannée, a swank hotel in its own right, offers a few public rooms of slot machines. At the Palm Beach Casino, on the eastern edge of Cannes, a half-hour walk from the hotels of the Croisette, Americans and Brits play poker behind velvet ropes. The ubiquitous slot machines dominate there and at the city's official casino at the Palais des Festivals (Esplanade Ponte Dou; 33-493-390-101; In all cases, be prepared to provide a passport and signature on your way in; it's the casinos' way of making sure your debts follow you.

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