We recently received this email from Robert in London. He’s headed to Belfast for a stag party, and he’s wondering if there are any Belfast casinos that he can visit.
Here’s what Robert asked us.
I’ve been reading our site for months, and I’ve found lots of useful gambling information on your blog. Thanks for that.
Today, I have a question for you. I’m from London. I’m soon traveling to Belfast on a stag party with some friends. We want to play at a casino, but there don’t appear to be any.
I’m confused. I was under the impression that casinos are legal everywhere in the UK. Am I wrong about this? I know that Belfast is on the island of Ireland, but I checked, and it looks like there are casinos in Dublin.
What’s the deal with gambling in Belfast? Can you find out?
Casinos in Belfast
Thanks for writing, Robert!
There are no casinos in Belfast. While you’re right that casinos are legal all over the UK, Belfast has a devolved government, and it’s a much more conservative part of the UK. As a result, no casinos have ever been permitted to operate in the city. That may change soon, but it’s still the case for now.
However, there are several arcades offering “the casino experience.” These are the next best thing to casinos, but all of the games are electronic. You’ll also find electronic roulette and video poker games in the many bookmakers in Belfast.
This may seem strange, and to some extent it is, but it’s simply the choice of the people of Belfast. There are politicians who favour opening a casino in Belfast, but they don’t have a majority, so we can only assume that the majority of people don’t want a casino in Northern Ireland.
This may be slightly inconvenient for your party, but as far as we’re aware, arranging a friendly poker game in your hotel won’t attract any trouble. The presence of these casino arcades in Belfast proves that the games aren’t illegal as such, but just that there’s no licensed casino there yet.
Enjoy the city, and if you do take the craving for a gambling session, why not play at a UK casino site instead?