The Hippodrome Casino

Hippodrome Casino
Cranbourn St, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7JH
020 7769 8888

If you want a casino that is big enough to compete with the mega venues that you’d find in the likes of Las Vegas then you might well want to pop along to The Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square. Considered to be the largest casino in the United Kingdom thanks to the fact that it is based over 93,000 square feet, the venue is used to be a theatre and a nightclub before becoming a gambling house in 2012. It is based over six floors, essentially promising three different casinos under one roof, alongside the likes of a dedicated poker room and a place for high-rollers to feel as if they are away from the rest of the punters.

A Casino in an Historic Building

Stood on the corner of Cranbourn Street and Charing Cross Road on the outskirts of Leicester Square, the name of the Hippodrome was used for numerous different theatres and music halls around the country. The Hippodrome in London is one of the only survivors of using the name, with another noteworthy one being the venue in Birmingham. It is a fitting name in the sense of being an entertainment venue, given that it means a place that hosts horse races or other forms of equestrian events. The London building opened in 1900, having been designed from Moss Empires by the famous theatre designed Frank Matcham.

It cost £250,000 to build, being used to house circus and other variety performances. You would have to enter via a bar that was made to look like a ship’s saloon, whilst inside you would performances take place on both a proscenium arch and in an arena that sank into the floor and could be filled with water. Matcham re-constructed it as a music hall and theatre in 1909, with the likes of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake receiving its English premier at the venue. It was also the first place in the UK where a jazz gig was held, welcoming the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1919. In 1983, Peter Stringfellow re-opened it as a nightclub and restaurant.

A Huge Casino

Stringfellow eventually sold the club, which dropped out of fashion in the early 2000s. It underwent numerous different guises in the years that followed, but in 2009 the lease for the building was taken on by a father and son team, Jimmy and Simon Thomas, who restored it to Matcham’s original designs. With more than £40 million spent on the restoration, the pair turned it into a casino that was opened by the then-Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. It included four floors of gaming when it opened, being awarded the Best Land-Based Casino honour at the Totally Gaming Awards in the January of 2013. Later in the same year, a new poker room was opened.

An Impressive Venue

If you’re looking for somewhere genuinely impressive to place a few bets then you could do a lot worse than heading to the Hippodrome Casino. There is an outdoor area that is based over two sections, in addition to pretty much every single casino game that you could hope to play. Not only that, there is also a decent steak restaurant on-site, plus the Magic Mike Live show that is base on the hit film series. Mainly, though, it is the gaming that you’re going to want to know about and the fact that it is based over four floors means that you’re unlikely to be disappointed. The poker room was built in collaboration with PokerStars, whilst Lola’s Casino, located on the lower ground floor, promises speak-easy vibes.

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