Five Major Differences Between Casinos in the UK and the USA

UK and US flags

It was the Gambling Act in 2005 which first planted the seeds of opportunity for the casino industry in the UK to come close to mirroring the one currently in operation in the USA.

Prior to the establishment of the supercasino, venues in the UK were unable to licence more than 20 slot machines; now, complexes are able to be far more flexible with their offerings.

However, the UK casino market still has a long way to go to not only reflect the best that Las Vegas has to offer, but also what many of the smaller states of the US provide for their locals.

Below is a look at some of the main areas in which casinos in the UK still have plenty of catching up to do:

Space

Aspers Casino in the Westfield Stratford City was the first supercasino built in the UK, opening in late 2011. The total amount of space for visitors to make use of is 65,000 square feet, making it the largest in London.

Another of the larger UK venues is The Casino at Empire in Leicester Square in Central London, positioned within an old theatre. This casino is spread across three levels, but still only has a total square footage of 55,000.

To put this into perspective with the US, Greektown Casino, which is one of three casino resorts in the city of Detroit within the state of Michigan, has 100,000 square feet of gaming space available.

Meanwhile, in Vegas, The MGM Grand Casino occupies 172,500 square feet of space for gaming and represents only a portion of the 30-floor main building of the MGM complex.

However, even this pales in comparison to The Venetian Macao in China, which spreads over 546,000 square feet.

Volume of games and amenities

Tied in with the subject of space is the capacity of exactly what a casino is able to offer its visitors.

It goes without saying that the more space is on offer, the greater the possibility is of providing more games, both in terms of variation and the number of tables offering the same thing.

Visitors to Aspers can expect to sit at one of 70 tables offering the likes of roulette, blackjack, the punto banco variant of baccarat or war. Meanwhile, there is one restaurant for them to dine in and two bars to enjoy a beverage.

However, it is in terms of slot machines where the biggest differences are apparent. Aspers has 150, while there are just 50 at The Casino at the Empire.

Step into The MGM Grand in Vegas and visitors have the luxury of choosing between 27 different bars and restaurants catering to various tastes, while there are over 2,500 slot machines waiting to be played.

Dress

Dress codes for all forms of entertainment are all generally easing. Jump into a time machine and return to the start of the century and many theatres at nightclubs would certainly not have let in visitors wearing jeans or not in dress shoes.

The UK casino industry has mellowed considerably, but some of the more high-end venues in the UK will still expect shirts and trousers.

In the US, complete casual is more than acceptable almost anywhere, especially accessories like baseball caps and sunglasses.

Atmosphere

A considerable difference between US and UK casinos is in the type of atmosphere visitors can expect to sample.

In the US, it is all about the show. The atmosphere is festive and jovial, with waitresses on hand to cater to a guest’s every whim. There are also expectations of music and other forms of entertainment. It is almost as if the gambling part of the visit is not the primary focus.

Such distractions are not so prevalent in the UK, especially the older-school casinos. Gambling takes centre stage, with little else to do.

Opening hours

It is well-known that casinos in the US don’t feature clocks on the walls as they want to avoid making it obvious to guests how long they have spent playing games and spending money.

The casinos are open 24 hours and the intention is to make day and night merge into one.

Aspers is open 24 hours, but the majority of casinos in the UK do have opening and closing times.