There are many reasons why Edinburgh is one of the UK’s most visited cities by international travelers. There’s the Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, climbing Holyrood Park’s Arthur’s Seat, and of course the annual Scottish New Year’s celebration known as Hogmanay.
Edinburgh has a thriving nightlife and loads of entertainment which includes film and food festivals, big music acts, sports, and whisky distillery tours.
And while online casinos may be the gambling of choice for many UK residents and visitors, Edinburgh still offers a decent retail gambling industry that includes a number of popular casinos.
Edinburgh’s Best Retail Casinos
The Advent of the GamStop Self-exclusion Scheme
While the UK online gambling community has generated tremendous interest over the past couple of years, there are still issues that warrant consideration. One issue that has become a major concern for the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been an increase in the number of reported problem gambling issues.
Sensing that problem gambling issues would increase in correlation with increased online gambling, the UKGC helped create the GamStop Self-exclusion Scheme. For licensed online gambling operators in the UK, subscribing to the GamStop scheme is mandatory. For UK online gamblers, registering with the scheme is strictly voluntary.
Once a gambler has completed the free GamStop registration process, they are immediately banned from having access to any UK online gambling sites that are GamStop members.
The self-exclusion period lasts until the gambler’s self-determined exclusion period expires. Of course, there are ways that GamStop gamblers can still continue or resume their gambling activities in spite of their GamStop status.
One such way would around this self-exclusion from online gambling would be to join the many other Edinburgh residents and other British gamblers who are using non GamStop UK casino sites.
Another obvious way of avoiding the GamStop scheme is to simply resort to gambling in retail (aka physical brick and mortar) casinos and betting shops. Below, you will find a list of the best places to gamble in person while in Edinburgh.
Top Retail Casinos in Edinburgh
Grosvenor Casino Edinburgh “The Maybury”
Don’t be surprised if your first impression of the Grosvenor Casino on Maybury Road is that it looks more like a government building than a casino. In reality, it is a very nice 2-story, full-service casino with an Art Deco vibe that’s located really close to the airport.
On the first floor, visitors are treated to a full slate of gambling action with a big focus on table games like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. The casino also offers a dedicated poker room and plenty of gambling action for mah jong and slot players.
They regularly hold weekly slots and electronic roulette tournaments, with the gambling action kicking off every day at noon.
Heading upstairs, guests can take a break from gambling and enjoy a great meal in the casino’s restaurant which serves up delicious salt & pepper quid and fresh haddock. Lovers of sport can take advantage of the casino’s 18 HD screens which regularly feature Scottish Premiership football and rugby.
Genting Casino Fountain Park
The Genting brand has long been a dominant force in the European retail casino community. It’s not surprising that Edinburgh is home to two Genting casino facilities.
Of the two, Genting Fountain Park is the newest and most modern. After entering through an exquisite-looking casino entrance, casino players are greeted with a full retail gaming experience.
The casino offers the following casino games of chance: baccarat, blackjack, roulette, mah jong, three card poker, and a dedicated poker room. They also provide live e-table terminals for newer gamblers wanting lower stakes and time to learn the various casino games like three card poker, blackjack, and baccarat without the pressure of a crowd or dealer in your face.
The casino’s bar is known for its extensive gin menu which consists of over 100 varieties from around the world. You’ll find citrus gins, juniper gins, and plenty of other flavored gins. Meanwhile, the restaurant serves up great burgers and pizza.
Genting Casino York Place
As the more established casino of the two Genting properties, the Genting Casino York Place has held onto its charm. It’s actually a very small property located near the Edinburgh Waverley Train Station and St. Andrew Square.
The featured games include three card poker, baccarat, and a couple of blackjack tables. There are five American roulette tables and 12 electronic roulette machines. While waiting for a table game seat, guests are invited to enjoy a nice selection of electronic video slot machines.
You’ll enjoy the same great dining and drinks menu as Genting’s Fountain Park along with a late bar, but there are also a number of other great bars and restaurants close by.
The gaming starts a bit later at 2PM so you may wish to check out the Scottish National Portrait Gallery beforehand which is home to portraits of James IV, James VI who succeeded Queen Elizabeth I to become the King James I of England and Ireland, and Mary Queen of Scots.
Admiral Casino Edinburgh
If you’re into slots, you’ll have plenty to choose from at Edinburgh’s Admiral Casino. Admiral specializes in slot machines, with well over 200 venues across the UK. Enjoy bingo slots, classic slots, free spin slots, and £500 Jackpot slots.
The venue is open 24 hours and features the latest slots as well as classic favorites. Stakes start from just 5p so you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a full day of slots.
Located in Edinburgh’s center, you also have a gin distillery across the street as well as the new Johnnie Walker attraction on Princes Street which is housed in an 8-story building with rooftop bar, shops, whisky cellar, and range of immersive experiences. It’s the perfect spot if you’re into Scotch whisky tourism, with the bonus of having great views of Edinburgh Castle.
Sadly, Genting Casino Leith and Royal Bingo have permanently closed down in Edinburgh, leaving retail gambling options rather limited. However, you will find plenty of casino options in Glasgow, London, Birmingham, and Manchester .
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