London’s Casino Scene – The State of Play


London’s land-based casinos have had to go through a major evolution since the internet decided to show up. The result was a proverbial kick up the butt to stem the bleed of the market completely shifting to online.

Previously, in search for the best UK casino, you’d have to head to the big cities to find it; with London obviously being a hotspot here in the UK. However, there’s a strong argument for the online casinos providing a much more enjoyable gaming environment.

For starters, you don’t need to leave your home. And the casino bonuses that are available online far surpass those on offer at traditional London casinos.

Is Diversification the Only Future?

But, and this is a big but, London’s casino scene is still very much a vibrant and busy sector. We salute the brick and mortar casinos that have managed to hold prime real estate locations. A classic example of this is the Empire Casino, which is situated right on Leicester Square.

Pre-internet-world-explosion, they wouldn’t have had to diversify into the restaurant and club entertainment scene. However, by doing so horizontally, their member base has managed to stay at a sustainable level and keeping London on the casino map.

It’d be easy for them to pull the plug and completely shift their business model away from the Vegas-style of a casino atmosphere, with massive rooms lined with jackpot fruit machines and card tables… let alone the patter of the roulette ball settling on the wheel.

But, there’s something very iconic about such establishments.

Seeing them fall by the wayside due to the surge of online casinos would be a massive shame. An easy way out for them is to shut up shop and launch online. But, we know that the easy way out isn’t always the right one.

We also know too well the bad taste that some casinos can leave; however, the big players seem to take pride in being a pillar in the London community. We salute them for staying true to their traditional casino roots whilst evolving not to lose their grasp.

The hospitality sector in London is full of philanthropy, with the attached casino industry contributing billions per year to good causes. Thousands flock to the capital every year for some huge card game tournaments.

The knock-on effect of this onto the hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions is immense. It’s not just the players and their entourages that make the trip; a whole host of fans and media bring the love, too.

Is It All About Size?

You can’t mention the words “London” and “casino” without dropping in The Hippodrome. Being an iconic landmark, with its floors graced by stars such as Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder, it’s the largest casino in the UK.

The place is monstrous, and that’s due to it originally being built as a theatre. Over time, it’s changed hands many times, to now settle as a visibly impressive casino. If you’re in London, you simply have to visit!

Large, vibrant casinos aren’t the crux of the London casino scene, though. While they serve well as a front from the industry, the smaller side-street casinos still appeal to players. With Great Britain only hosting 152 casinos, you may be surprised to hear that London has over 20 of these.

That’s a huge swing in the capital’s favour!

Always Look Forward, or on Your Doorstep

Visiting a casino might not be considered one of the top things to do in London, but if you haven’t been to one, they’re not as intimidating as you think. You don’t need to be a member to walk into a casino, which isn’t how it used to be.

They used to be considered the dark horses of the entertainment industry; almost the type of establishment needing a secret handshake to get in.

This is not true now.

The atmosphere inside is amazing, the food and drink are luxurious—depending on where you go—and the live entertainment complements the gaming side very well.

You’re forgiving for wanting to carry out your betting online, but don’t overlook traditional casinos that are right on your doorstep.