Grosvenor Russell Square Casino, London

Last updated: 19 November 2014
Tough to find, but worth it once you get there

Before you go:

Reg/Walk In: Reg
Cashout at Machines: Coupon
Dress Code: Smart casual
Rewards Programme: Yes
Parking: Free customer parking + Valet + congestion zone
Restaurants: Yes
Bars: Yes

Address: 61-66 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5JS
Telephone: 44 2078331881

The Grosvenor Russell Square isn’t quite as easy to find as you might think, given that it’s only a few yards off, unsurprisingly, Russell Square. There are directions from Russell Square tube station actually within the station, and my advice would be to take a look at them – it’s a big old square and you don’t want to walk three and a  half sides of it, like I did ….

Once you get in, it’s all very new looking and shiny, presumably having had a refurb recently. On the way to the gaming area you pass the restaurant which looked splendid on my afternoon visit, all laid up and ready for action.  I’m wondering how busy they can be, mind, given the posters up showing 40% off all A La Carte meals.  Talking of posters, when we visited, before it was converted into a Grosvenor, you could tell Gala’s bingo heritage from the other promotion, where you need to get three stamps on your stamp card to get a £10 cash match offer – not exactly top end I reckon.

Anyway, on the main floor is where the action happens. It’s really nicely done, with the tables in the middle, the slots on one side in some comfortable clumps, and the electronic roulette taking one end, again in a good layout with a wall behind you and the gaming laid out in front of you. Downstairs you will also find the poker room, and just off the floor are necessarily grim smelling but very handy smoking  terraces.

The slots themselves are fully up to date except for the coin payouts. This obviously makes changing machines (if you haven’t run out of money) a right pain, so it’s good that they have multi-game IGT machines available.

I took a spot at the electronic roulette for a while with no luck, but I did see something quite rare in casinos – the dealer “dollied” a wrong number. This means that they put the little plastic winning number marker on the wrong number (30 instead of 33 in this case), which is actually quite easy to do when all the numbers are covered up with chips. This prompted a major panic from the inspector who shouted “stop” – evidently it can be a disaster if you don’t stop the dealer from clearing all the chips off, because everybody and their dog then rushes to tell you they had chips on the (now empty) winning number, and the camera systems usually aren’t good enough to pick out all the individual chips to verify one way or the other.

It’s a good spot to have a play for sure, neat and tidy and reasonably priced. No doubt with the Grosvenor takeover of Gala imminent at reviewing time, it’ll change soon, but for now it’s recommended.