My apologies for a lack of news and updates over the past week because for a short while, VegasCasinoInfo became LondonCasinoInfo after a whirlwind 5 day trip to Europe which also included a day trip to Munich (without a visit to Oktobefest, damnit!)
Central London actually has quite a few very small casinos scattered about, most not much bigger than a store front. I only had time to check out one throughly, the Palm Beach casino at the Mayfair Hotel, which I was told was one of the more "exclusive" clubs in town. For starters, you have "join" the casino which includes scanning your passport and taking your picture. You are given a card which holds your money when you cash out of a machine. There were about a grand total of 20 slot machines, most from a company I never heard of and the rest ones I would never play in Vegas. I burned through my 10 pounds of free slot play pretty quickly at .50 a pull, which was your only option, no line or credits per line choices. There was also about 15 or so video roulette machine as well. For table games, there were about 20 tables in the place. mostly single zero roulette but a couple of 3-card poker tables and a few Blackjack table offering something called "21+3." Those were constantly busy even with a 25 pound minimum bet so I didn't see what it was all about. Roulette was 2 and 5 pound minimum and after a little wait to get on the smaller limit table I actually had a decent run for a while, playing for almost 2 hours and walking away with my 40 pound buy-in. They were building a new Baccarat room and also had a small poker room with 3 or 4 tables.
The vibe was definitely much different than anything in Vegas. The dealers were mostly female, wearing full length black dresses and a "Smart dress code" was enforced so there wasn't any flip-flops and tank tops walking around. The crowd also seemed rather deep-pocketed. I was betting 8 or 10 pounds a spin but was still the low-budget guy at the table with others regularly throwing around 40 or 50 pounds or more at a time. The other major difference from Vegas is the complete indoor smoking ban in London which also applies to the casinos. This was a little surprising to me because it seem the entire city smokes and there was always 10 or 15 people choking down Marlboros just out the front door of the casino or any other place where people gathered for that matter.
It was definitely interesting to see how things are done in other places. I had a good time during my short visit but if this casino was amongst the best London has to offer, I don't think Vegas or Macau are too worried! For a guy who loves to gamble, it's nice to have somewhere to go for a little action but with all there is to see and do in London, I certainly wouldn't put their casinos at the top of the list of "must sees" on your trip.
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