First theme-casino in Poland opens in city center, interior designed after Old Town

Casino enthusiasts were able to return to action at the Novotel Hotel?s tables  after only a week?s break ? because that?s all the time it took for the gaming facility?s renovation.  
The reopening last Friday was timed to coincide with the 18th birthday of the casino so there would be an additional reason for celebrations.
Guests watched fireworks and listened to singers known for their collaborations with composer Piotr Rubik, one of Poland?s most popular entertainers and TV celebrities.
The renovation makes the Novotel Casino the first themed-casino in the country, according to Krzysztof Barszcz of Casinos Poland. The walls of the main room are decorated with architectural details from the streets of Krakow.
The details add spice to what once was a lackluster room design, especially for people ?who didn?t fancy green fabric and dark wood,? Barszcz said.
A mellow orange has replaced the green fabric and over the bar stands a large sculpture of the Wawel Dragon, a legendary symbol of Krakow.
Architect Tadeusz Nowak and interior designer Jolanta Tomaszewska created the interior?s new look.
The Novotel Casino boasts roulette, black-jack and poker tables, and slot machines. The highest slot-machine jackpot, which came last August, was 406,214 zloty, about $135,000.
In addition to the games, guests can enjoy the performances of famous Polish singers, such as Maryla Rodowicz and Jacek Wojcicki, and foreign singers.
However, the main attraction for many is the VIP Room, where about 30 guests can gamble. Its walls are decorated with crystals from the world-famous salt mine in Wieliczka. Many casino visitors can?t resist licking the wall.
The casino was the first legally opened in Poland after regulations about gambling changed in 1989. Until 1993, it was in one of the city?s most famous hotels Pod Roza on Florianska.
Then the Casinos Poland gambling empire changed its location to the Novotel, a hotel built in the 1970s in the Bronowice District of west Krakow on ul. Armii Krajowej. It now takes about 10 minutes by car to reach the casino from the center of the city.The company that runs the Novotel Casino also owns seven others ? two in Warsaw and one each in the five large cities of Poznan, Wroclaw, Katowice, Szczecin and Gdynia.

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