Ah, Las Vegas. Sun, pool parties, cocktails and the chance to win your fortune. Doesn’t it sound great? Maybe if you’ve got money to burn, and if you’re living in London, we doubt that’s the case. So what’s the next best option? Well, there are actually tons of casinos in London that will give you the Las Vegas flavour without the long flight or the jetlag. If you’re feeling lucky but don’t have the spends to get to Nevada, then check out these next best options which are a short tube hop away from the ‘Ditch.
Playboy Club, Mayfair
Hugh Hefner may have passed away in 2017, but his legacy lives on at the Playboy Club in Mayfair, which he helped open in 1966. It was relaunched in 2011 by Caesars Entertainment UK, and if you’re looking for the kind of tacky but fun night out you’d get in Vegas, then this could be the answer. Once you’ve signed up and paid your membership fees, you’re granted access to some of London’s most premium gaming. As well as a huge selection of casino games including poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and slot machines, you’ll gain access to the Tale Bar, with a gigantic cocktail menu and premium drinks offers. It’s a stunning addition to the club’s premium surroundings – vintage-styled in opulent teal, camel and gold. The atmosphere here is fun, exciting and a little bit different – capturing the original spirit and glamour of the much-vaunted club of the 1960s. Don’t forget to check out the ‘Playlist’ section of the website before your next trip, as there are loads of pop up events, guest DJs and vouchers to take advantage of.
The Hippodrome, Leicester Square
Just like many other buildings nearby, the Hippodrome was once a giant theatre, then a cinema, before the current owners decided to fill with a huge range of casino games, slots and video machines. Luckily, they’ve kept the inside in its original state, which makes for a classy casino that doesn’t have that tacky chain feel that some UK casinos suffer. The Hippodrome also has multiple bars and restaurants, making it ideal for a big night out.
Designed by Frank Matcham in the early 1900s, the building was originally designed as an arts and entertainment venue, but now it’s one of the most unique casinos you’ll find – with great food, slots and performers spread over three floors. It can accommodate up to 2,000 guests.
The Hippodrome attracts a huge amount of customers who are seeking a unique gambling experience; clearly, this is a successful business plan, and one that is visible elsewhere. Online casinos, like 777 Casino, face plenty of competition, so one way of standing out from the crowd is through having a distinctive web design and theme. Similar to The Hippodrome, there is clear a desire to ensure that there is a nostalgic touch, on the site there are images of a typical old fashioned gambling scene, graphics that leave the users reminiscing over Vegas in the 1950’s and a huge range of games, 777 Casino is undoubtedly is the closest online experience to The Hippodrome.
Empire Casino, Leicester Square
Just around the corner from the Hippodrome, the Empire is right on the red carpet, just next to London’s premiere central. Naturally, there’s always plenty of rich and famous milling around this part of town and the Empire is designed for this crowd. Owned by London Clubs International, the casino covers 55,000 square feet across two floors.
Built into the old Empire cinema, the main casino floor is about as James Bond as you can get. You’ll need to dress smartly and become a member before laying down any money, but you can do this on the night. Once you’re in, you’ll see why people with money flock here, with a real feeling of quality, elegance and class making gaming feel extra special. The game of choice in here is roulette, and you’ve got both American and European wheels, as well as video Roulette in the secondary gaming rooms. There are also 31 other gaming tables including blackjack, three card poker, punto banco and American roulette.
Be prepared to pay extra for cocktails and spirits in here. After all, it’s where movie stars and premiere guests are likely to head after a screening. Just don’t order a vodka martini, as the staff will probably laugh at you.
Palm Beach Casino, Mayfair
If London’s wet and miserable weather is dragging you down, then a trip to Miami might cheer you up. Just head to Palm Beach on any night of the week and cocktails served in coconuts whilst you gamble should get you close enough.
One of London’s most premium casinos, Palm Beach is on a level with the Empire in terms of quality and styling. This isn’t the kind of place you can rock up to in a T-shirt and jeans, and you might need to break the credit card out if you plan on dinner and drinks Miami-style. But where else in London can you sit under a plan tree and have a game of poker? Originally part of the Mayfair Hotel, Palm Beach is now owned by the Genting Group,
Palm Beach has a huge range of other games to get stuck into too – plus slots that offer 94% payouts and progressive jackpots of up to £20,000. If you become a member online you can enjoy VIP treatment on arrival – for a small additional payment of course. What’s more, you can even stay over – at its luxury hotel, which features 400 spacious and majestic rooms of the highest order.
Barracuda Casino, Marylebone
Far removed from the huge entertainment complexes on this list, Barracuda is a much more intimate affair. Located just off Baker Street, this compact but stylish casino is the perfect place for a cheeky Tinder date, or as a way to end your night out around Marylebone.
Owned by Grosvenor Casinos, the choice of table games here isn’t as big as in other and you might have to wait to get in when it’s really busy, but once you’re inside the whole experience is top notch – with a sophisticated atmosphere from wall to wall. Table service drinks and professional, friendly staff really round off a night spent at the Poker, Blackjack and Roulette tables, and you won’t spend too much time waiting for a spot either.
Drinks are reasonable (but still expensive compared to a £3 double you’ll get in certain parts of Shoreditch) and there’s of course a kitchen serving up good food until late. Our favourite on the list.
Hopefully the next time you fancy a flutter or are looking for a bit of different night out with friends, then hopefully these options will give you some ideas. Just make sure you get some practice in online first, so you don’t end up penniless after you first five minutes at the tables! Or, you might find that the online gaming experience beats going out anyway – in which case you’ll be saving a bomb on drinks and food.