Britain’s Oldest Casino Shuts Down - The Stratford Observer

Britain’s Oldest Casino Shuts Down

Stratford Editorial 7th Nov, 2023 Updated: 9th Nov, 2023   0

The closing down of Crockfords is truly the end of an era, but what caused it? And where did Crockfords all start?

The doors opened in 1828 in a decadent location owned by William Crockford and situated on Curzon Street in Mayfair.

Crockfords, Britain’s Oldest Casino Shuts Down

Recently, the longest-standing casino in the UK has announced it is closing its doors for good. After 195 years, Crockfords has announced it has seen its last poker game ever due to a lack of high-end tourists. The 100 staff that are employed at Crockfords are being transferred to other locations within the company or faced with redundancy.

Crockfords will follow a 30-day consultation process regarding its future, which was launched last month by bosses at the casino.

Paul Willcock, the president of Genting Casinos, said that the closure of Crockfords was due to a “combination of factors”. Business slowed down significantly due to the ‘tourist tax’ that was implemented in 2021, meaning wealthier visitors to the UK are put off. Paul has commented that the closure of Crockfords is the “end of an era.”

The impact of the pandemic has also affected business. When travel ceased, the Crockfords were spilling money, and even when travel was allowed again, those who were willing to spend money in casinos didn’t come back.

The casino was established in 1828 by William Crockford, a skilled fishmonger, who was employed by the company. He soon became one of the richest individuals in England due to this.

Originally situated at 50 St James Place, Crockford moved to the centre of Mayfair, which attracted high-roller customers from all over the world.

Impact on the Casino Scene in England

Crockfords isn’t the only casino to take a hit. In recent years, The Ritz and The Clermont have been forced to close their doors, too, as the tourist scene in London simply isn’t bringing in the custom needed, and high-spending customers are choosing to visit other gambling hubs worldwide.

John O’Reilly, the CEO of Grosvenor, stated that another reason for casinos taking a hit in London is because “Middle Eastern high rollers, who have conventionally supplied London’s casinos with a stream of VIP revenues, were now choosing to visit Paris or Milan instead”.

This can be attributed to the tourist tax, which eliminated VAT-free shopping for tourists in 2021 when the UK departed Europe.

Another reason London’s casinos might be struggling is the emergence of online casinos. People are much happier playing online in the comfort of their own homes – especially since the pandemic.

Why are Online Casinos popular?

Online casinos allow players to quickly and efficiently deposit their money into their accounts and play safely. Bonus Finder, for example, even allows players to deposit using their phone bill. You can visit website for more details on how to do this.


Online casinos offer players the chance to take control of how and when they play. You can place deposit restrictions on your own account so that you never go over certain limits.


You can enjoy all of your favourite games 24/7 with online casinos, and if you really fancy it, you can play in your PJs in bed!

Social interaction

Heading to your local casino to play a couple of card games or roll some dice always brings the chance of meeting up with friends and chatting. Online casinos have worked extra hard to ensure they have chat functions with real people and moderators.

After a couple of lobbies and games, you’ll see the same usernames and create a new online group of friends.

More variety

You name it, and you can play it. In terms of choice, online casinos offer thousands of options, from all of the latest slot games to huge jackpots on the bingo. Not to mention the chance to win those insanely large progressive jackpots!

Music slots, vampire slots, or simply some calming music and fluffy teddy slots are all right there. Plus, you can enjoy a full range of bingo games, including 90, 80, 75 and speed bingo!

Rewards and bonuses

If there is one thing you can be sure of, it is that online casinos will do all they can to have you sign up. They offer some of the best sign-up bonuses and regular promotions to new customers. Not to mention that with most new accounts, you get free spins plus access to free games and starter rooms – where you can learn to play for free or pay a lot less than usual. All in all, you get a lot more play for cash when you choose to play online.

Crockfords is one of a long line of casinos that simply haven’t been able to weather the storm that came in the last few years and the big switch to playing online.

Written by Rhys M.


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