Alea Casino Glasgow
Before you go:
Reg/Walk In: Walk in Cashout at Machines: Coupon Dress Code: Smart casual Rewards Programme: Yes Parking: Free customer parking Restaurants: Yes Bars: Yes
Address: Springfield Quay, Paisley Road, G5 8NP Telephone: 44 141555 6100 Website: http://glasgow.aleacasinos.com/
Well, it’s a monster, this one. Sitting right on the Clyde, albeit on the southern bank (with all Glasgow’s other casinos being north of the river) the Alea is part of a leisure development with very much the usual suspects – Odeon, Frankie and Benny’s and a bunch of others, including a bingo club with faulty neon signage that proclaims it’s a “Bin”. Delightful.
Given that it’s enormous, it’s not actually that easy to spot – there’s not much in the way of signage to tell you where the casino is, but look for a large roulette wheel poster-y type of thing. It’s an open door policy, so wander into the site and you’ll see a large ground floor operation with a couple of tables, loads of slots and electronic roulette and a small bar at one end, with a cafe type thing at the other. The poker room is down here too.
When I visited this area was pretty busy, but you don’t realise just how big it is until you go up the stairs – there’s a whole extra level. On the next floor are the main tables, restaurant, a huge bar and a VIP area, along with the cash desk (oddly tucked away around a corner). Apparently they used to have a top floor too, God knows what for. This main floor has clearly been designed by someone with a bit of imagination, the ceilings in particular are sweeping curves and the views through the casino are amazing – while the view from the restaurant over the river is just beautiful (if you block out the large “Nando’s” sign in the foreground).
That restaurant is a treat too, although beware of the pricing – the original £12.95 for two courses ballooned up to £27.95 once I’d ordered a couple of dishes with extra supplements to pay. It’s also not for the starving hungry – steak and chips in my world involves more than the 6 chips (not a typo – six) that came with mine. Four onion rings and two mushrooms completed the picture. Slim pickings.
The scale of the place is huge, although not really matched by the level of business. I was there on a Thursday night, and the tables weren’t really kicking at all, possibly not helped by a great hairy dealer who looked like a geeky Chewbacca. As a side note, and yes, I understand I am a boring casino geek, the cloths on the gaming tables were in a hideous state, and looked like they needed changing months ago. Perhaps they were some sort of scientific experiment to grow new forms of life.
It’s certainly an experience, though, so if you want to take a look at what the US owners originally thought would dominate the market due to its size, drop in and have a go.