A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to one of its many casinos. There are so many choices that narrowing down the best ones is hard.
Here, we’re going to introduce the two most popular and then two that are more exclusive, where membership is a requirement.
Get ready to discover the best casinos to visit in London!
The Hippodrome Casino
The Hippodrome, in London’s West End, began its life as a music hall in 1900. Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and the Jackson 5 have all performed there.
In 2012, the venue was converted into a casino. It covers five floors and is, today, a complete entertainment venue. The casino on the main floor is the star attraction, described as a ‘fishbowl of gaming.’
Venture down to the lower level to find Lola’s bar and club, designed like a speakeasy from the prohibition era. For entertainment, Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike Live is performed in the theatre from Wednesdays to Sundays — bookings are essential.
For dining options, the Heliot Steak House — voted the best in London — offers rooftop seating so guests can look right down onto the gaming floor. It’s the perfect location for players to spend their winnings.
The Empire Casino
For its sheer size alone, The Empire Casino is a must-visit for any gambler in London. Also located in the city’s West End, it’s over 5,000 square metres and is open 24 hours. The venue has everything you could need for a complete night out in London.
For gamblers, there are 50 gaming tables, over 100 machines with progressive jackpot slots, and 90 electronic roulette machines, some with only a 10-pence minimum. Players can enjoy the elegant punto banco, exotic pai gow tiles and blackjack with special rules at the tables. The Empire Poker Room is for hardcore poker players; daily tournaments begin at 2 pm.
The Empire Casino has several bars, such as the Icon Balcony Bar, which gives patrons a view of the casino action. The Shadow Bar has an illuminated dance floor, and Vapor stays open until 5 am.
As for dining, there are some top choices. The 24-hour Carlsberg Sports Bar has every player’s favourite food, from steak and seafood to American bar classics. Chef Wai from the Dorchester Hotel heads FuLuShou, which offers pan-Asian cuisine.
Be prepared for crowds, especially during holidays and peak seasons.
Crown London Aspinalls
In Mayfair, a block and a half from Hyde Park, sits the Crown London Aspinalls casino. Originally the famous White Elephant Club, it was the place to be seen in the ‘60s and ‘70s. London gambling pioneer John Aspinall bought the club and, in 1992, turned it into a casino called the Aspinalls Club. The Crown Group took it over in 2011.
The casino still follows strict club regulations — entry is by membership only, for which a rigorous application process must be approved by the Membership Committee. Anybody who successfully jumps through all those hoops is in for a treat.
British designer Tessa Kennedy conceived the gaming rooms. They ooze classic elegance with ornate mouldings, art and fixtures at every turn.
Table games include blackjack, roulette, baccarat and three-card poker. There are private gaming suites, each with a unique theme and decor. Sports enthusiasts have a dedicated lounge with plasma screens.
Dining options are on an international scale; Chinese, Lebanese and Italian fare is all on offer. The restaurants are open to members and non-members, provided they’re over 18. The property has a smart casual dress policy; even members will not be permitted entry if they don’t comply.
Maxims Casino Club
Another members-only casino is Maxims Casino Club in Kensington. Built in 1862 as Palace Gate House, it was an exclusive gentleman-only club. When it became Maxims, minimal alterations were made to the property, and it’s still reminiscent of its era.
It’s an elite crowd that visits Maxims. Membership is a requirement but doesn’t have an approval system as Crown Aspinalls does: simply be over 18, provide a photo ID at the door and complete a membership form. The dress code is smart; no sportswear or casual clothes are permitted, and this is strictly enforced.
The 26 gambling tables include American roulette, blackjack and three-card poker, and there are also electronic roulette machines and slots galore. Poker tournaments are rare at this establishment, but private poker parties are held in the Dickens Card and Library rooms.
Boasting an international array of flavours, from Arabic to Chinese and European cuisine, the restaurant is open daily from 7 pm. Non-members are welcome, but bookings are essential.
Whisky lovers must visit Maxims Whisky Lounge Bar, which boasts 60 varieties of whisky, such as single malt scotch and bourbons from all over the world. This venue is also available for non-members.
Come and Gamble in London
There are too many casinos in London to mention all of them. The two that are must-visits are both in the West End: The Hippodrome and the Empire. Everyone over 18 is welcome, and even though these casinos can get very crowded, they’re worth visiting just to say you’ve stepped foot inside.
For discerning gamblers looking for a more exclusive experience and a step back to the casino styles of the 1800s, Crown Aspinalls and Maxims Casino Club are the ultimate choices. Although non-members can experience the non-gaming facilities, be prepared to become a member if you want to play for real money.
Are you ready to explore what London has to offer in the casino world? Book your holiday today.
Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly.