Casino Royale is a fictional casino which first appears in Ian Fleming's 1953 James Bond novel Casino Royale, located in the fictional French seaside resort of Royale-les-Eaux. The casino was subsequently featured in the 1954 CBS television adaptation and official 2006 Eon film adaptation of Fleming's novel (with the latter casino located instead in Montenegro). A very different version of Casino Royale also appeared in the unofficial 1967 spoof film of the same name.
Casino Royale is located in the fictional French seaside resort of Royale-les-Eaux. There had been a casino at Royale (as the town was formerly named) since the Victorian era. But since then the once popular coastal town had fallen on hard times, losing business to the towns of Le Touquet and Deauville. The town thereafter survived on seaside holidaymakers in the summer and its small fishing fleet in the winter, as well as "the crumbs which fell to its elegantly dilapidated Casino from the table at Le Touquet".
Royale's renaissance came after the Second World War. Encouraged by the post-war revival of Brighton and Nice, in 1950 Royale-les-Eaux was identified as a potential source of revenue by a Paris syndicate which invested funds on behalf of exiled Vichyites. The Casino, the public gardens and the two main hotels were refurbished and Paris jewellers and couturiers were given rent-free sites on which to establish branches. For the year in which the events of Casino Royale take place, the Société des Bains de Mer de Royale has succeeded in securing bookings from "a considerable number of the biggest operators in America and Europe", and leased some of the baccarat tables to a group of Egyptians, the Mahomet Ali Syndicate.
For the EON Productions film adaptation of Casino Royale, the Casino's location has been changed to Montenegro. During the film, the terrorist financier Le Chiffre uses a Ugandan warlord's money to short-sell stock in an aviation firm, thus betting the money on the company's failure. After his plan to bankrupt the company is foiled by the intervention of James Bond, Le Chiffre is left with a major financial loss and is forced to set up a high-stakes poker tournament at Casino Royale in Montenegro to recoup the money. Intent on preventing this, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6) sends 007 to participate in the tournament using government funds. Unknown to Bond, the American CIA had also sent a participant to the event, Felix Leiter. Despite several setbacks, the Bond won the tournament, netting $115,000,000 (115 million US dollars).
In the 1967 spoof film Casino Royale, baccarat expert Evelyn Tremble is recruited to beat SMERSH agent Le Chiffre. Having embezzled SMERSH's money, Le Chiffre is desperate for money to cover up his theft before he is executed. Tremble arrives at the Casino Royale accompanied by Vesper Lynd, who foils an attempt to disable him by seductive SMERSH agent Miss Goodthighs. Later that night, Tremble observes Le Chiffre playing at the casino and realises that he is using infrared sunglasses to cheat. Lynd steals the sunglasses, allowing Evelyn to eventually beat Le Chiffre in a game of baccarat. Lynd is apparently abducted outside the casino, and Tremble is also kidnapped while pursuing her. Le Chiffre, desperate for the winning cheque, hallucinogenically tortures Tremble, before being kiled by SMERSH agents.
Later, the character Mata Bond is kidnapped by SMERSH in a giant flying saucer, and Sir James Bond and Moneypenny travel to Casino Royale to rescue her. They discover that the casino is located atop a giant underground headquarters run by the evil Dr. Noah, secretly Sir James' nephew Jimmy Bond, a former MI6 agent who defected to SMERSH to spite his famous uncle. Jimmy reveals that he plans to use biological warfare to make all women beautiful and kill all men over 4-foot-6-inch (1.37 m) tall, leaving him as the "big man" who gets all the girls. Sir James, Moneypenny, Mata and Coop manage to escape from their cell and fight their way back to the Casino Director's office where Sir James establishes Lynd is a double agent. The casino is then overrun by secret agents and a battle ensues. American and French support arrive, but just add to the chaos. Eventually, the casino explodes, killing everyone inside.
Behind the scenes
During production of the official 2006 Eon film adaptation of Casino Royale, location filming for the casino and its adjacent hotel took place in the town of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic during April-May 2006. Although the casino part of the storyline is set in Montenegro, no filming took place there. A famous Czech spa named 'Lazne I' or Spa I, the former 'Kaiserbad Spa'  was used as the exterior of the Casino Royale, with the nearby Grandhotel Pupp serving as "Hotel Splendide".
- Notably, in May 2013 the original artwork for the set of the casino in the spoof James Bond film Casino Royale went on sale for £30,000. The 36in by 30in work by the art director Michael Stringer was a detailed bird’s-eye view of the set built at Pinewood Studios that featured in the 1967 film starring David Niven and Peter Sellers.
- Ian Fleming, Casino Royale, Ch. 5
- Ian Fleming, Casino Royale, Ch. 2
- "Casino Royale - Spa no. 1 / Kaiserbad", James Bond Locations], 13 June 2011. Retrieved on 19 April 2016.
- "Casino Royale: filming locations", Movieloci.com, 19 June 2012. Retrieved on 20 June 2012.
- "On set report from Casino Royale getaway chase sequence", MI6-HQ.com, 23 May 2006. Retrieved on 21 November 2006.
- "The intricate art of creating a 007 cinema set", The Times, May 29 2013. Retrieved on 19 April 2016.