When Romania transitioned from communism to a fledgling democracy one the first businesses that could be seen all over Bucharest were the casinos. The forbidden fruit of the communism became the symbol of the new order of things in Romania, that unfortunately ended up to manifest in all walks of life, the old communists dressed as new democrats transforming the entire country in a giant casino.
The first casino that could be seen in Bucharest that wanted to match the glamour of European casinos was Casa Vernescu, on Victoria Way, an old mansion of a rich family that was sold by Baron Max de Waldberg in 1908 to the Romanian government. After running for many years under that name, the house closed and stayed like this for a number of years.
It happened that I walked by it the night when it was opening again under the new name of Palace Casino. The grand reception was attended by a typical crowd that can be seen in any casinos in the world but also by the head of the Writers Union, a respected Romanian literate. Currently the location is leased for a number of years to the Writers Union that contracted it to an entertainment company dealing with the casino. An interesting marriage of interests….