A Night at the Tables: A Guide to London’s Lavish Casinos
Being one of the busiest cities in Europe, there’s always something fun to do in London. From cheese crawls and pub hopping, to afternoon tea on the River Thames, London boasts some of the most unique experiences that can only be found in this part of the world.
For those looking for activities that are less on the tourist-y side, another exciting reason to visit London is its gaming scene. Unlike popular entertainment hubs like Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, there aren’t as many casinos in London. However, quality is the name of the game here. So what’s left are some of the oldest and most luxurious gaming venues in the city that have survived decades of regulations, licensing, and strict gaming policies.
If you’re getting ready for a night at the tables, here are three of London’s most lavish gambling spots:
The Hippodrome Casino
(Image Credit: Casino Life Magazine)
The Hippodrome Casino is one of the more unique gambling dens in the city. Welcoming over four million visitors every year, it is treated like a casino primarily, and a Vegas-like entertainment venue next. The Hippodrome features over three unique gaming floors with over 45 gambling tables and 100 slot machines. The ground floor known as “Lola’s Underground Casino," which is designed to look like the ancient Grecian hippodrome, is the main entertainment area in the building. The floor boasts activities and sights at every corner. Among them are dancers, a gin palace, bar, and a barber shop. But most of all, they've got rows of traditional blackjack and roulette tables.
Les Ambassadeurs Club
(Image Credit: Abbiati)
If you’ve been playing for a while, then you might have come across a luxury casino called “Les A," where politicians, celebrities, and other prominent figures come to enjoy a few rounds of cards. Les A offers five private gaming rooms, and over 16 gaming tables in the outdoor gambling area. Plus, there is also a smoking bar, cigar lounge-garden, underfloor heating, and large tellies to watch popular sporting events. The club also has its own restaurant and bar to unwind after a long night.
While the building is listed as a private club on Delta Sky Magazine, that doesn’t mean you can never get a chance to play. Full-fledged members pay an annual membership of £25,000, but anyone who wishes to enter, can purchase a one-week trial membership for £1,000.
The Aspers Casino
(Image Credit: Aspers)
London’s largest casino is The Aspers, a 65,000 square-foot complex in East London. It offers around 70 gaming tables, a 150-seat poker room, and over 150 slot machines. Aside from this, there are also two bars, an à la carte restaurant, and an enormous screen with betting facilities. Contrary to the usual rich, high-stake crowd one comes to expect from London casinos, Aspers’ style is a bit different, but still lavish. The owners call what they do “entertainment betting” – basically a fancy word for high payouts, small bets. Instead of spending long nights to get a decent reward, they prefer their patrons to casually come over (after dinner or on night outs), bet small, and come back another day.
Currently, there are over 150 licensed casinos in the UK alone, offering a variety of all-time classics like poker, blackjack, and roulette. On top of this, they also have unconventional games like Mahjong, Kalooki, and the Wheel of Fortune. However, with the increasing popularity of online gambling, Sandlot Games explains how brick and mortar casinos have come under pressure recently. Online play has become a very real threat and has caused many UK casinos to close over the last decade. Fortunately, for the casinos on this list, they offer the public an altogether different experience that just cannot be replicated online. And these lavish London casinos provide the perfect gateway to have a closer look at the city’s gaming culture.