I saw a flyer for the casino recently that says ‘The most exciting venue in Kigali’. Well, if you like gambling, as the only casino in the city, this is most likely very true. But just make sure you contain your excitement and keep your voices down!
So I don’t know much about casinos. I’ve been in maybe five in my life and I think it’s fair to say that I get more enjoyment out of watching the people in the casino than I do from playing any of the games. But I’ve been to Casino Kigali twice now and both times I’ve actually had a lot of fun. Too much fun, maybe. The last time I was there, myself and some friends (having enjoyed several free beers at this point so our volume level was slowly escalating) hit a lucky streak on a blackjack table. High-fives and cheers ensued and a manager-looking-dude promptly came over to tell us to cheer quieter. Seriously? Quiet? In a casino? I guess I don’t know much about casinos but I wouldn’t have expected them to be run like a library. Oh well. So we silenced our joy and continued the blackjacky fun.
Yep, you read it right up there. Free beer. The first time I was at the casino last year, I remember nothing of this free beer phenomena. Waitresses would come to the card tables at the ring of the bell and take our orders but would serve our drinks with the bill. This time around… free beer! Well, free beer until we got too loud. Suddenly, no more free beer. At this point we were told of a four beer maximum. Not sure if that’s the case or if it was just a tactic to stop our volume from increasing to anything that sounded like people having fun. The depressing looking roulette table filled with old Asian guys didn’t seem to appreciate fun and were shooting evil eyes our way.
But really… casinos. I don’t like them but I like this one. The dealers are professional without being intimidating and you can sometimes get a nice bit of banter going with them. If you’ve got a table filled with friends, it’s easy to feel comfortable playing card and table games you might not know all the rules to. The dealers don’t really rush you and as long as your friends are patient, you can ask questions as you play to learn the ropes a bit. The one thing I remember about casinos in Canada is always feeling really intimidated by the card tables… maybe that’s just because I’m a wimpy loser or maybe they’re scary places but I’ve never had that feeling at the Kigali casino.
I’m not really up on my gambling, as you can tell, but I think the casino has a few blackjack tables (minimum $2), a Texes Hold ‘Em table where you play against the dealer (minimum $5), roulette (minimum bet $1) and slot machines. They’ve also got a big screen TV and regularly show sporting events, 24 hours a day. The casino only takes US dollars if you want to gamble but there’s a place inside to change money from Rwandan francs. The last time I was there I changed Rwf 20,000 and got US$32 which I think is close enough to the regular exchange rate.
I generally hate casinos and gambling in general but I like Casino Kigali. It’s relaxed, the staff are nice and it’s just something different to do on a night out with a group of friends. Just make sure to keep your cheering volume at a reasonable level!
Phone: 0788 306 959
Address: Top Tower Hotel, 1st Floor