Wales is full of fantastic attractions for holidaymakers; think of a break in Wales and you probably picture the beautiful views of Snowdonia, the cliffs of Great Orme, the Brecon Beacons or perhaps Harlech Castle.
But Wales has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife as well, and the country’s casino scene offers plenty to entertain fans of poker, blackjack, slots and roulette. Most of the main venues are in Cardiff, with a very decent casino in Swansea. If you’re planning to visit any of the following, be sure to get in a little practice online first; you can play for free at a site like www.gamingclub.co.uk, and you might even win back the cost of your trip!
The Rainbow Casino in Cardiff is our first port of call. The premises, in the UGC Cinema building on Mary Ann Street, used to be run by Gala. The new owners are a large gaming firm with operations in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol and Teeside as well. It’s a lively spot with poker and roulette, and plenty of slots. Roulette is American, with a 50p minimum bet, and is spread across four tables.
Blackjack players will find four tables as well; the minimum stake is £3. Blackjack Switch is also an option; players can change their cards if they’re not happy with them. There’s a good restaurant, serving what might be described as quality pub food, including T-bone steak and Cajun chicken. The Rainbow’s Portland Bar overlooks the gaming area. It’s just a short walk from several decent hotels including the Park Inn, pictured above.
The Grosvenor Casino in the Red Dragon Centre on Hemingway Road is another great spot in Cardiff. Again, poker, blackjack and roulette are on offer, as well as numerous slots including Cleopatra and Lucky Lady’s Charm. At “The G”, as it’s known, loyalty schemes like Every Visit Counts give players points, which they can exchange for meals and drinks as well as games.
Also worth a look are the combined food/drink/bet offers; during March 2014, a burger, a pint of Guinness and a bet will cost you £8.50. Poker players are well catered for here. There’s a monthly £5000 satellite game as well as numerous daily events. The G is a host venue for the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour, in which the winner is guaranteed at least £200,000. There’s another branch in Swansea.
Finally, the popular independent night spot Les Croupiers. Situated in the Capital Retail Shopping Park on Cardiff’s Leckwith Road, it’s known to locals as “the Croups”, and boasts a good range of games including blackjack, craps, poker, punto banco (baccarat) and roulette, and plenty of slots.
There’s a sports bar with all the main events on Sky, and the Dragon Court restaurant serves decent meals. Gamblers can take advantage of complimentary snacks served at the tables – Las Vegas style!
(Images courtesy of llandudnopictures.com, e2e4.org.uk, cardiffdevils.com, les-croupiers.co.uk)