Shaftesbury Casino, West Bromwich
Before you go:
Reg/Walk In: Reg Cashout at Machines: Coupon Dress Code: Smart casual Rewards Programme: No Parking: Free parking Restaurants: Yes Bars: Yes
Address: 377 High Street, Shaftesbury Street, B70 9QW Telephone: 44 01215254744 Website: http://www.shaftesburycasino.co.uk/
Ah, West Bromwich. Until I found out there was a casino there that needed visiting, I wasn’t even sure it was a real place, I only knew it from the football team and wondered if it might be like “Arsenal” – just a name from history. Well, I can inform you that it does indeed exist, and in fact on the way out I drove past the football ground, The Hawthorns. In a development that wouldn’t surprise you but pleased a simpleton like me, there are in fact Hawthorn trees outside.
It’s a very literal High Street location – the address is West Brom High Street, and is handily located next to Lidl, perfect for those times when you want a “tasty meal product that looks and tastes exactly like a familiar brand but because it has a different sticker on it feels like it’s nowhere near as nice”.
They are on membership still, so be prepared for a bit of a wait to get in – albeit from a very friendly receptionist in this case. The first area is the slots section, which looks a little bit like a 1980’s nightclub – think of the club in the first “Terminator” movie – all greys and steel stools. The slot stools are much more comfy, and in fact it is a really nice place to play. Some of the slot positions overlook the street outside, which is nice for a bit of variety – and they are all modern machines.
Moving through, next is the bar area. It’s a very unusual tiled floor in here, although it seems to work ok, and must be a lot easier to keep clean ! The restaurant is just off the bar area and looks very nice indeed, a raised area again with views to the street and across to the gaming floor.
The main floor itself is through some archways, and has a totally different feel to the bar. I think this feels like a good thing, and in fact the whole building feels like three different design schemes stuck together, but none the worse for that. The floor itself has something like 12 tables, covered in what sounds like a hideous colour combo – purple and yellow – but actually is rather pleasant. The staff are super-smart and the area has a real feel of atmosphere, as well as, unusually, a quite large soft seating area overlooking the floor. I reckon that’ll be a popular spot in the evening for people who don’t play much – great for watching the action and learning a bit about how to play.
One unusual feature is that the microphones (for recording what players say in case of disputes) are on poles hanging down from the ceiling, which looks a bit odd – why not just put them in the tables like everyone else – and they have the maddening policy of reshuffling the cards when a new player comes to a Blackjack table to start playing. These are minor points, mind, and overall it’s a really nice provincial casino.