London’s Casino Scene

Queens theatre London Les Miserables

London, the capital of Great Britain is widely recognised as being one of the greatest cities in the world. Steeped in a history that has made an indelible mark on the city, London is known for, among many things, music, theatre, fashion, art and food. 

In many ways, London epitomises the modern city with its diverse culture and tolerant attitudes. But lesser known are some of its spectacular casinos, with one or two boasting a surprising history.

Despite the emergence of the online casino, as epitomised by sites like, the London casino scene has bounced back after the pandemic. The famous Hippodrome alone turns over £111.3 million annually, so this is as good as any place to start.

The Hippodrome

Even if you aren’t au fait with the Hippodrome’s three casinos featuring favourites such as blackjack, poker and roulette, you’ll have heard of it. Charlie Chaplin, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra have all performed in her theatre, and it’s also home to private dining rooms and a nightclub.

Its mixture of night-time treats makes it a great place to dip a toe into the London casino scene. There is no specific dress code, though smart casual is standard, so you don’t even need to hire/buy a suitable wardrobe. 

Throughout this page, we’ll keep an eye on the dress code because it’s not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to Casinos in London…

belgravia london festive season
Credit: Belgravia London

Les Ambassadeurs

Les Ambassadeurs is arguably the most glamorous casino in London with a pedigree to match. For a start, it’s the actual casino featured in James Bond’s Dr No, so expect something special. 

Actually, by ‘special’ we mean ‘exclusive’. You can’t just turn up in a tee-shirt and shorts and expect to sit down with the coiffured clientele. 

Membership cost about £25,000 per year, and permanent memberships need to be approved by a committee. But you can apply for a week’s trial (£1,000) and even then, you might not be accepted. 

Once in, however, you can expect to rub shoulders with the rich and the famous. As for the dress code, strictly formal, as you’d probably expect.


Also located in Mayfair, a mere two minutes from Les Ambassadeurs, Crockfords claims to be the oldest ‘gaming club’ in London. And this is reflected in its breathtaking décor that harks back to 1828 when the casino was established by one William Crockford.

In addition to classic games (Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack etc) the club boats private areas for VIPs. And, of course, there is the Wellington restaurant and an in-house bar in which to relax before, or after, you’ve had a few hands of poker.

The dress code is formal, but you can walk in without membership, though that’s available too for £1000 a year. But if you’re a fan of slots, you won’t find them here.


Open 24 hours a day in one of Kensington’s most exclusive addresses, Maxim’s boasts three sumptuous gaming rooms but, again, no slots. And you’ll need to be a member to enjoy the three casino rooms: so long as you fill out the right form with a photo ID, it’s free to join.

That’s a bit of a game changer for those who wish to indulge in a spot of glamour usually consigned to the great and the good. But you’ll need to adhere to the ‘smart’ dress code, even those keen to experience Maxins’ restaurant, one of the finest Casino Club Restaurants in the world.

The French, Thai, Lebanese, Indian, and Chinese cuisine served in the lavishly decorated restaurant is world-renowned. And you can dine privately in the Dickens Room as if hosting your very own (sumptuous) dinner party. 


A potentially controversial entry on account of the casino founder, John Aspinall who passed away in 2000. However, it’s the only casino on this page that openly discusses community responsibility on the website.

Either way, here we’ve one of London’s most famous casino’s discreetly hidden behind a red door on Curzon Street, Mayfair. There are no electronic slot machines, which may come as a disappointment, nor are there craps for the more traditionally-minded gamer.

But everything else is as one would expect including fine dining and a bar in the auspicious surrounds of a fin-de-siecle decor that screams taste and style. Membership is required, it’s £1000 a year which seems relatively reasonable when compared to some on this page.

As you’ve come to expect, the dress code is formal, but dozens of other casinos in London are much more relaxed about your attire. 

But with the arguable exception of the Hippodrome, dressing up to visit a casino is part of the experience. It should be fairly obvious that casinos offer an exclusive environment, so act accordingly or go online!

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