Date: January 27, 2021 Written By: Lawrence Shen
The United Kingdom has a vibrant and diverse gambling industry dating back centuries. The vast options make every casino visit unique. In total, the UK has around 150 casinos. Most are in England, with the rest in Scotland and Wales. All are much smaller than those in Las Vegas or Asia. While a few casinos in London and Manchester adopted an upscale and international image in recent years, many may just take up a small storefront on an unassuming street.
According to Casino Guardian, all casinos are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission with limits on floor spaces, slot machine counts, and ratios of table game spaces to non-table spaces. In general, table games make up a larger portion of revenue compared to US casinos. The three main table games are roulette, blackjack, and Three Card Poker, with roulette being the most popular by far. They follow favorable European rules in which not only are these single-zero wheels, but players also get half of even-money wagers back if zero hits. Punto-Banco (the twin of baccarat) is available at high-end and tourist-heavy locations. Craps tables are rare and mostly in London. Other games like Caribbean Stud and Casino War might be found in casinos outside London.
Although the legal gambling age in the UK is 18, both casinos and players take gambling more seriously. All casinos used to be exclusive clubs where patrons, domestic or foreign, had to apply for membership with government-issued ID's and wait through a 24-hour clearing period. This practice has loosened up recently with free anonymous entry possible at select casinos, but most still require patrons to register and have pictures taken. Formal identification is conducted at the cashier when patrons cash out over £1,000 or £1,500. It is advisable to check with the casinos beforehand for entry requirements.
Furthermore, if you are a casual gambler who enjoys the non-gaming features of a Vegas casino, you might be disappointed. There is no live entertainment, boutique shopping, pool, or buffets. Yet, they do have a dress code of smart casual. Higher-end or private clubs require formal dressing. The lower legal gambling age of 18 might make you wonder about the legal drinking age. Yes, the drinking age in the UK is also 18, but the bad news is UK casinos cannot provide free alcohol. Luckily, most casinos do offer complimentary food, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages delivered to the tableside for dedicated players.
Public concern has risen in recent years about the detriment from the expanding gaming industry. Calls for robust responsible gaming programs and removal of gaming-related ads have been taking headlines. As of this writing, a long-awaited review of the Gaming Act 2005 is under way as part of the gambling reform promised by the Conservative Party in their election manifesto. A few more tips to wrap up the article: All UK casinos are non-smoking. Gambling winnings are not taxable in the UK. Not all UK casinos allow tipping the dealers