2015 saw the closure of one of Paris’s most iconic and exclusive gambling venues, the Aviation Club de France following a police raid in 2014 that lead to the liquidation of the casino in 2015 bringing an end to over 100 years of history. However, the world-famous club is set to reopen its doors to the public.
This European flagship casino club first opened swung open it’s poker doors back in 1907 soon after became a highly regarded classic gambling venue. The club is situated at 104 Avenue des Champs-Elysees, not too far from the Arc de Triomphe which is located in the centre of Paris. The main games that were played at the club included poker, backgammon and baccarat and it was known as one of Europe's leading high-stakes poker rooms during most of the 1990s and the 2000s. Not only that but the club also hosted the Grand Prix de Paris leg of the world tour in 2004. Perhaps you’ll remember the famous rant by Tony G toward Surinder Sunar this year.
The card room which was headed by the famous French poker player, Bruno Fitoussi, hosted its first World Poker Tour in 2003. 86 players ended up buying-in for €10,000 (just shy of C$15,000) with first prize going to professional poker player (most widely known for Texas hold ’em), Christer Johannson, from Sweden. These were the good old days with many a famous player walking through these doors all of whom were devastated with the closure back in 2015 and a lot of them even joined the #bringbackACF campaign hoping it would reopen at the time.
There have been several interesting events take place at this legendary casino including the 2004 armed robbery who was involved in a botched robbery during the World Poker Tournament that year leaving vital evidence including keys and cash that led to their getaway vehicle on the stairs. Funnily enough, they still got away on a road-sweeper they managed to swipe!
Following the 2014 liquidation of the company, it was reported that approximately €1.4 million in player’s money held as deposit and ‘out’ chips was seized, never to be recovered or returned to their customers.
As you can imagine, we were pretty excited to learn that this historic venue was set to re-open. The club is now being run by one of France’s leading casino operators, Barrière Group, and it has been said the casino will reopen under a new name with the new operators adhering to regulated laws that have been in place since 2018.
Although the roulette and slot wheels won’t spin, there will be 27 tables of games on offer including Poker and Punto Bianco. The new 1,300sq metered casino will be adorned with century-old wood panelling and beautiful deep red carpets. The opening hours will be from 2 pm - 6 am daily and will include an entrance fee of €15, a yearly subscription of €150 but on top of that it will include a Dépôt Légal restaurant, and this will be the third Paris eatery by leading Chef Christophe Adam.