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End of an Era: The 195 Years Casino Shuts Its Doors

Crockfords is a casino that many British citizens may not know about. It has existed for quite a while within its community, dating back to 1828.

That is almost 200 years in business. Sadly, it will stay as almost as the announcement has been it will finally close business this month. After officially 195 years, the establishment will halt its establishment and shut down for good after a recent data review. But why did this once-revered gambling den suddenly decide to close? Will there be anything left in its identity a few more years afterwards?

After the closure, Crockfords will have already started its 30-day consultation process, which will help plan out its future in the remaining years. This was officially launched a month ago by the main owner of the casino, the Genting Group. The casino was run by over 100 staff who tended to the customers and led the tables. Every employee will be transferred to casinos around the country, ensuring their future in the industry. Some layoffs will happen, but the Genting Group has assured they will do their best for those who have served the long years.

The Reason Why by Genting Casinos

Paul Willcock is the current president of Genting Casinos, a brand from the Genting Group responsible for Crockfords. Willcock released an official statement to the public that a “combination of factors” led to Crockford’s closure. The Tourist Tax in 2021 was what caused a big initial hit. This tax prevented a lot of potential customers from visiting since tourism granted a lot of potential revenue. Wealthier visitors would be put off from coming, meaning no big spending would happen.

The pandemic was also another massive hate that entertainment sites would bear the brunt of. With everyone in lockdown, it became hard to stay afloat with no visitors coming in and out. Even after the pandemic mostly ended and with tourism returning, the hook wasn’t strong enough. No one was willing to come back, and it became even harder to attract future customers. Online gaming was gaining a lot of tracks, giving customers no reason to gamble outside. Another comment from Willcock stated that it was coming to an “End of an Era”. Land-based casinos simply no longer had the popularity they once had.

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The History

With 195 years on its belt, Crockfords has lived through many of the major events of the 20th century. There are so many memories that have walked through its tables, with humble beginnings leading to greatness. Crockfords originated from a very talented fishmonger named William Crockford. He was employed by a Gentleman’s Club in 1828, which led to the introduction of gambling to the scene. 100 years later, it was renamed the Crockfords Club after the owners themselves. The club started on 21 Hertford Street before moving to 16 Carlton House Terrace in 1934 and then finally to 30 Curzon Street in 1983.

Despite being in business for much longer, it wasn’t until the 1960s that Crockford truly blossomed as a real casino. This was largely due to the introduction of the Betting and Gaming Act 1960. Crockford then became simply one of 300 casinos that opened in the following years. The changes to the law allowed gambling to be fully legalised under certain jurisdictions. Despite the rise in competition, Crockford was still the biggest in the whole world. It raised over £25 million in annual revenue and continued to grow as the years went by. It followed a few minor scandals by the time the 21st century hit, with false wins and losses tipping them into the red.

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The Official Timeline

Year
Action

1828
Gentleman’s Club employs William Crockford

1934
The club moves to Carlton House Terrace

1960
Introduces the Betting and Gaming Act

1961
Crockford is purchased by businessman Tim Holland

1966
Crockford sold to Pakistani businessman Aziz Fancy

1968
The club sold to Gilbert Benaim and Joseph Khaida

1970
The club closes due to legal concerns about the two owners

1972
Club reopens under new management

1983
Crockford moves again to Curzon Street

1999
Biggest loss in UK casino game, £11 million

2012
Allegations made to a big winner for Edge sorting

2017
Allegations fall through and appeal denied by UK Supreme Court

2023
Crockford officially closes

An Unfortunate Trend

It isn’t just Crockfords that suffered closure at such short notice. Many other land-based casinos in the UK have been forced to close as the tourist scene has been declining. The Ritz and The Clermont are two major examples that were top contenders with high-stake customers. The London scene is just not having the same impact it did a few years ago. A study by the CEO of Grosvenor, John O’Reilly, revealed that many high rollers who used to come to London are now seeking gambling elsewhere. Specifically in Eastern Europe, such as Paris or Milan.

As mentioned before, the Tourist Tax is how many big high rollers from other countries no longer visit. The Tourist Tax eliminates VAT-free shopping for anyone visiting the UK. This means that everything is more expensive now thanks to Brexit, where the UK is no longer part of Europe. Many businesses have suffered because of this tax, making it harder to improve the amount of customers they once had. 2021 was an unfortunate year, with the start of the pandemic leading to another obstacle in their way.

Online Popularity

With everyone indoors, many gambling enthusiasts were forced to bear witness to the convenience of mobile gambling. Online casinos have existed for many years, but their usage skyrocketed once everyone could not go outside. Here is a list of reasons why online casinos can be seen as better:

Full Control – Players can simply log in and play as much as they want. There are no closing times, as games can be accessed 24/7.

Bonuses – Online casinos offer far more bonus deals which convinces players to stay logged on longer. One example is weakly free spins for their favourite slot machines.
Variety – Online sites can house thousands of contents for players to choose from. A land-based casino can only fit in a limited number of games due to space.
Easy Interaction – A lot of social groups can be made online. Even tournaments can house live chat rooms where players can talk with each other and interact from all around the world.

Summary

Online review sites that offer recommendations on the top bonuses for online casinos add to the hype. Many of these casino sites are tailored towards the rising success of online gaming. With more access, it is no wonder that land-based casinos such as Crockford have been in steady decline. Online slots, casinos, cash prizes, and more can all be accessed with just a swipe of your finger. Time will tell if any other land-based sites will suffer the same fate, completely lost to history.

We hope that, in some form, these old-fashioned casinos will live on through voices and bookings. We should never forget the establishments that paved the way for this form of entertainment. From just a small-time club to the biggest luxury venue in London.

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End of an Era: The 195 Years Casino Shuts Its Doors