London is a city with a very rich casino history. Hundreds of years ago, the soldiers of King Henry VIII preferred to spend their time gambling instead of fighting. The royal didn’t like it and banned his army from gambling, although almost no one loved gambling as much as him. This is just one of the many historical gambling stories in London. In this article we tell you more about it!
The history of London goes way back. It was founded by the Romans around the year AD 47. ‘Londonium’, as it was initially called, became the capital of Roman Britain (replacing Colchester) during the second century.
Gambling: lasting legacy of the Romans
The Romans introduced many things to Britain. Gambling is one of their lasting legacies. Evidence suggests that the Romans played primitive versions of the games we today know as Roulette and Backgammon.
Gambling and Londen in the 1000s
Since the Romans introduced it, gambling has been one of the major leisure activities in London. The one and only William the Conqueror enjoyed betting on the outcomes of jousting tournaments in the 1000s. Soldiers during the 13th century crusades brought a variety of new games to London. This included Hazard, a dice game which Chaucer mentions in his narrative poems the ‘Canterbury Tales’.
Introduction of gambling laws
After King Charles II returned to this throne in the 1660s, gambling laws that closely resemble the ones we know today were introduced. Gambling was legalized, but well monitored. Just as today, gambling houses or casinos that failed to comply with the law were shut down immediately.
1800s: Great Britain becomes a gambling nation
The first British bookmakers started to emerge in the 1800s. One of them was Ladbrokes, a familiar name in the casino industry. By that time Great Britain had developed into a nation very devoted to the thrill of gambling tables, betting games and horse racing.
The first casino in London
London created its very first casino in 1828, named Crockfords Casino in Mayfair. It still exists today! What’s more: Crockfords is one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious casinos.
Why you should visit London instead of Vegas
Most people think of Las Vegas when they think of a famous gambling city, but London is absolutely fantastic as well. It’s the location of some of the oldest and most elegant casinos. The rich history of Britain’s capital city is just one of the reasons you should go there!
Put on your black tie and enjoy the thrill
From Crockfords and Crown Aspinalls in Mayfair: London is a paradise for everyone who loves the trill of gambling, fine dining and traditional games. So put on your black tie, immerse yourself in the world of Blackgammon and experience 2000 years of gambling history in the casino capital of the United Kingdom!