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Britain says goodbye to one of its oldest casinos

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As Crockfords Casino closes its doors after 195 years, who is to blame for the lack of business in London in 2023?

One of the oldest land-based casinos in Britain is closing its doors after 195 years in operation. The Mayfair casino employed 100 staff, but without enough interest from players and high-end tourists, it now faces redundancy.

The unassuming building, known as a Mayfair hotspot that catered to exclusive clientele like members of the royal family and aristocracy, is owned by the Genting Group.

After a consultation about the future of Crockfords Casino in September, it was decided that the casino would be closed. Staff would either be laid off or moved to other casinos within the group.

Last hand dealt at Crockfords Casino

Crockfords Casino was founded in the centre of Mayfair in 1828 by a working-class fishmonger
One of the oldest casinos in Britain, Crockfords Casino was founded in the centre of Mayfair in 1828 by a working-class fishmonger who later become one of the country's wealthiest men. Image Source: Luxury Lifestyle

After 195 years in business, it's sad to see the company close its doors. Genting Casinos UK president Paul Willcock called the closure the end of an era. Especially considering the building is worth a massive £80 million.

The casino was opened in 1828 by William Crockford, a regular man on the street who was also a fishmonger. He became one of the wealthiest people in England thanks to this private gaming club for the city's elite.

When gambling was all the rage in the 1800s, Crockfords was there to provide entertainment to a clientele that didn't want to mingle with common folk on regular casino floors. It's had its fair share of ups and downs, including legal battles and cheating scandals.

With a long history behind it, there are many questions about why Crockfords could no longer stay open.

Paul Willcock believes there are many factors at play. He said: "There is a combination of factors which have put high-end London casinos at a competitive disadvantage to other global marketplaces, and this has led to an unsustainable future for Crockfords in Mayfair."

Some blame the tourist tax introduced in 2021 and cut VAT-free shopping. This has led to a drop off of tourists in the country and seen other big casinos close their doors, including The Ritz and The Clermonth. It is a big threat, especially for the best land-based casinos in the UK.

Others point to the rise of UK online casinos, as they're more convenient and offer 24-hour access to various casino games, including live casinos as an option. What more could a player want when land-based casinos simply aren't cutting it?

UK online gambling facts

While it's no secret that online casinos are taking over the gambling space worldwide, some may be surprised to know just how popular it truly is.

The UKGC has worked tirelessly to ensure that gambling is safe for punters looking to spin the reels and place their bets. This is due to the high demand for online gambling spaces and what is expected to keep players entertained.

It was recently revealed that as many as 4 in 10 gamblers have never visited a land-based casino. Fear of 'getting it wrong' or being uncomfortable means many punters opt for online play instead.

A gambling report that interviewed 1000 punters found that about 20% of people either don't want to deal with travelling to land-based casinos or don't want to go alone. At the same time, 15% of those interviewed revealed that they've been to a brick-and-mortar casino before but aren't keen to go again.

While online gambling may be skyrocketing in popularity, London, Las Vegas, and Paris are all still hot spots that many would love to visit to experience the gambling culture firsthand.

If you’re looking for the best UK online casinos, look at our in-depth reviews and find one to suit your style.

Published: November 24, 2023

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Article by Polly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey guys, my name is Polina but my friends and colleagues call me Polly. I am truly passionate about online casino gaming and exploring the different online gambling experiences. I'm really into diving deep into topics and researching all the details. My aim is to gather the best information and write interesting articles for all the readers at CasinoWow.

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