With a gambling industry worth over £14.5 billion, the UK is home to world-class gaming experiences that are frequently enjoyed both by locals and the country’s large percentage of tourists. Britain’s most densely populated city, London’s capital, boasts 54 casinos, across which you’ll find 722 slot machines and 327 table games. Such a diverse and dense population creates a unique opportunity for casinos and parlours to engage eager customers looking to try their luck or perfect their poker faces. If you find yourself in this bustling British hub and are looking for something beyond the average sightseeing tour, maybe it’s time to put your luck to the test and brush up on your backgammon.
London’s Casino History
Long before the existence of the best online slots UK had to offer, betting and games of chance were still a part of London’s culture dating back to the city’s inception in the year AD 47. When the Romans founded the city of London, they introduced primitive versions of the games we know today as Backgammon and Roulette. Even during the Middle Ages, spectators enjoyed betting on the outcome of a jousting tournament. These early forms of betting and gambling may have been primitive, but they offered the same thrill that makes the sport attractive to date.
By the 16th Century, Londoners had developed a penchant for betting games, and many commonly participated in card games and dice games. Attendees at sporting events also took the opportunity to bet on predicted outcomes. In the 17th Century, the government began organising lotteries to raise public funds for construction works, although regulations later had to be introduced to prevent corruption and fraud.
Betting houses and gaming clubs rose in popularity in the 18th Century, offering card games and horse race betting. In fact, the Betting Act of 1853 was one of the UK government’s earliest attempts to regulate these forms of commercialised gambling. Horse racing became particularly popular in the 19th Century, leading to the establishment of several racecourses throughout the city of London. Such events attracted members of the nobility as well as lower-class individuals.
The 19th Century also saw the construction of London’s first casino, Crockfords Casino in Mayfair, which is still open and functioning as a casino today. In 1960, casinos and betting shops were legalised and became a common sight along the streets of London. This ruling marked a turning point in the UK’s gambling history, as this activity was now widely available, modernised and appropriately regulated. The industry grew with the introduction of online betting in the 2000s, leading to the formation of the UK Gambling Commission in 2005 to protect consumers and ensure fairness.
Today, London’s impressive tourism numbers bring in a diverse clientele for casinos and sports betting. This enables participants in this industry to frequently network with other like-minded individuals and enjoy the social aspect of such events, contributing to the growth we’re currently seeing in London’s gambling industry.
While this industry continues to evolve in London and across the UK, more and more consumers are choosing to partake in the opportunity and enjoyment presented by the vast number of gaming establishments scattered throughout Britain’s capital city.
Best Casino Experiences in London
Whether you’re looking for a classy and intimate casino experience or a new-age supercasino with endless gaming options, London truly has it all.
Crown London Aspinalls in Mayfair is one of the most prestigious and elegant betting establishments you could ever hope to find, with interior decorations that live up to the amount of money placed on tables here. With an air of discreet luxury and a dress code to match, it’s no wonder Londoners looking to treat themselves to an elegant night out often frequent this glorious establishment.
Crockfords also offers an excellent opportunity to experience the history of the UK’s gambling industry. Located in a sophisticated white Georgian mansion, this casino welcomes high rollers and provides an elegant and classy setting to play your hand.
While it originally opened as a music hall in 1900, the London Hippodrome boasts vastness that spans five floors and technically houses three separate casinos. This betting powerhouse offers environments to suit every visitor, from the relaxed top-floor balcony to the high-paced and thrill-inducing air of the first-floor casino.
The Empire Casino caters to every type of player and wallet, from seasoned pros to young adults simply wanting to try something new. Its atmosphere is reminiscent of Las Vegas, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it lacks elegance and luxury. The gambling behemoth was formerly a ballroom and a theatre before it was transformed in 2007, and today, it offers a vast array of gaming options across 127 slots and 50 table games.
If you’re searching for versatility, flexibility, history and good company, then the London betting scene will be well worth a visit next time you visit England’s capital. Whether you’re looking to try your luck with a quick buck or splurge on an elegant and luxurious night out, the sheer entertainment offered throughout the sprawling city by its dozens of casinos will make for an unforgettable evening. Who knows, you might just win big while you’re at it.