We love online casino gaming for its variety and vibrancy, but sometime the feel of a real casino floor pulls you in.

When you need some gaming razzmatazz and exciting interaction, then for sure take the time to get dressed up and visit one of the UK’s top bricks and mortar casinos. The excitement of a hot Roulette table is impossible to replicate through a computer screen, and you’re unlikely to experience the joy of having a cocktail waitress keeping your drink full at home!

Many of the best UK land-based casinos have long gambling traditions, formally for members only, and are renowned for their high stakes play.

Although in comparison with other countries, in particular the USA, South of France or Macau, the UK casino industry is still small and pretty exclusive, there are a growing brand of excellent facilities that are well worth a visit.

The UK land-based casino industry has been growing ever since 2005 legislation paved the way for so-called ‘super casinos’ that reflect large scale gambling houses similar to those in Las Vegas with all-inclusive entertainment packages.

When choosing your top bricks and mortar casino there are several criteria that can help your pick your way through the maze of casino entertainment offerings.

Regulation and Licensing

Following the Gambling and Casino Regulatory act of 2005 all casino premises need to follow a stringent regulatory process that ensures the fairness of the casino games, strict money laundering stipulations and limitation upon size of stakes. This has led to considerable tightening up of an industry that has seen many scandals over the years. Only pick regulated operations when you're going out on the town.

Reputable Casino Group

Apart from a set of highly exclusive, privately owned gambling clubs and some noteworthy independent casinos, the majority of the UK market is dominated by four main chains:

  • Grosvenor Casinos
  • Genting Casinos
  • London Clubs International
  • Rainbow Casinos

The Grosvenor Casino Group is one of the biggest UK chains and is owned by The Rank Organization. It operates 55 venues located throughout the UK. Established in 1970 the group has been expanding consistently ever since. The brand offers a range of popular casino table games, including roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker as well as electronic roulette and slot machine games with a variety of uncapped stakes. It is considered an entertaining and classy operation.

The Genting Group is based in Malaysia, but is fast rising within the UK land-based casino scene. Its premier casinos include the famous and elegant Crockfords Club, The Colony Club and The Palm Beach, all based in London, plus 40 other casinos spread across the UK. Their gaming is rich with variants of Baccarat, Blackjack, Stud Poker, Draw Poker, Punto Banco and Roulette.

London Clubs International are owned by the Las Vegas Caesars Hurrahs Group. Operating for over 40 years, their casinos include The Rendezvous Casino, The Sportsman Casino, Alea, The Golden Nugget Casino and the stylish new Casino at the Empire. The Group delivers on a variety of gaming and casino experiences that range from the highly exclusive and to establishments appealing to all levels of play and tastes. They offer a wide range of live entertainment and fine dining within often luxurious surroundings. Many of their top casinos open the tables for high stakes play and high-end dealer service.

Rainbow Casinos focuses its efforts on four landmark sites in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff. As well as offering classic casino games and slot machines, Rainbow sells party packages and group deals and delivers on a far more relaxed style of casino entertainment. You’ll find the dress code a little more easy going and with less stuffy etiquette. The Group offers a wide range of stakes on popular classic games; American Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Three card Poker and Texas Holdem with a number of regular tournaments.

An additional and growing casino group is The Aspers Group, nickname of the founder of the legendary Aspinalls Club in Mayfair, London, John Aspinall who is known for acquiring UK's first gaming license in 1962.The Asper Casino in East London is the group flagship offering vibrant gaming, stylish bars, restaurants, top class entertainment and nightlife. Its casino has the full range of slots play, tables, sports betting and bingo all wrapped up in an easygoing relaxed atmosphere.

Historic and Traditional

The UK has an interesting range of smaller, privately owned casinos that have a long history of opulent “gentleman’s gambling”, within an ambiance of high society etiquette, dress and fine dining. Many of these exclusive casinos are open to members only amongst the best are Fifty London, Maxims and The Ritz Club Casino.

Variety of Games

Before picking out your casino of choice always check out the range of table games and types of slots available. In the best and biggest casinos you should find your choice in Slots, American Roulette, Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Punto Banco, Pai Gow and various tournaments. Look out for no-limit cash ring poker games, and, at select times, a whole slew of live poker tournaments.

Amongst the independent smaller casinos the range will go down to a collection of house specialist games, but generally the quality of gameplay will be superior with challenging stakes.

Pick Your Stakes

Stakes can range from between a low of £1 and up to a possible robust £25K per wager. In most casinos you should be able to find a game that suits your budget, but be aware of social pressure to play higher than you can afford to lose.

Dress Code

Most top land based casinos have a dress etiquette and require smart attire, probably with jackets and ties as a minimum. Many of the privately owned casinos will require tuxedos and cocktail dresses. Check out the requirements before setting off!

Entertainment and Fine Dining

A wide range of extras such as fine dining restaurants, shows, music, entertainment and other special features that you certainly can’t get at an online casino.

Many top land casinos in the UK offer complete entertainment packages that include spas, bars, sports screens and nighttime leisure shows.

A Final Word

The top UK land based casino industry has seen tremendous growth over the last ten years with a rise of the Super Casino complexes that are more in fitting with Las Vegas than the smoking gentleman’s casino clubs of yester-year.

There is a wealth of choice, ambiance and style out there. Why not don your glad rags for a bit of classy entertainment . It's worth leaving the comfort zone of your online gaming– just watch the stakes!