This is the self styled "best casino complex in London". It´s certainly big (although not by Las Vegas standards)- but is it the best? We paid them a visit to find out if their claim stacks up against other contenders like the London Hippodrome and the Ritz (although to be fair they have a different target market to the latter). The thing about Apers in Straford is its size. Compare it to, say, the Grosvenor Casino Piccadilly and you will appreciate that this is a big venue (for the UK at least. Let´s ignore that Las Vegas and Macau exist for a minute).
Aspers Stratford is in Aspers Casino Westfield, in Stratford City near to the Olympic Park. It´s about half an hour from the West End of London by cab (as long as the traffic is behaving). You can also get there by train (Stratford Tube Station).
The full address is:
312 The Loft
Montfichet Road Olympic Park
Tel: +44 (0)208 536 5630
You´ll need ID if you look under 21 (you have to be at least 18 to enter) or you plan on betting more than 1000 pounds.They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except for Christmas Day.
When you first hit the floor, Aspers certainly look the part. This is the closest thing you are going to get to Las Vegas in the UK- it´s been designated a "Super Casino" by the UK government- the first one of its size in the country, at 65,000 square feet. It´s spacious and stylishly laid out with lots of roulette, blackjack and baccarat tables, plenty of top slots, a sports bar with a jumbo screen and sports betting. It´s also good for food and they have a welcoming open door policy- there is no messing about with membership.
The casino floor is split over two levels with roulette, blackjack, punto banco (baccarat) and Pai Gow, plus quite a bit of poker action. The Sports Bar and the Balcony Bar are both worth a visit if you get thirsty.
I was a little worried walking through the shopping centre that the casino would be a bit quiet, but once we got in via the long escalator at the entrance, it was lively as anything- there was a real buzz to the place. There were more than 10 roulette tables in action when we got there, with varying table limits- the max we saw was 2000 on the even money bets.
You can also play on the live electronic roulette terminals and there are plenty of slots and video poker machines if those float your boat. Remember- If you cash out more than £1000 you will need ID like a passport and proof of address - they are very strict on this!
There are plenty of tables plus roulette gaming machines. Take your pick from a selection of European Roulette, Double Zero Roulette (American) and a variant called Spread-Bet Roulette, which pays up to 1200x your bet (with pretty eye watering odds though!)
The European tables adhere to La Partage Rule, which is great, and one of the reasons we are happy to recommend the roulette at Aspers Stratford. If the winning number is zero, even chance bets retain half the stake, giving a house edge of only 1.35% on the even money bets.
Typically the American tables are used for the lower minimum bet tables (50p). I believe they follow the Atlantic City rule of losing only half on zero or double-zero, so that at least gets the house edge down to 2.6% on even money bets. Be warned, it´s 5.26% on other bets- one of the reasons why we always recommend that you play European Roulette ahead of American. Minimum bets at the tables range from 50p to £25, but it will depend on the time of day.
Aspers does a pretty good line in food. Clary´s is their signature restaurant (a varied menu with food from the grill, plus a decent Chinese selection, plus some decent burgers and English breakfast for the Early Birds). All reasonably priced. For drinks head to the Sky Bar (they have live music) or the Tanzibar which is the sport bar with massive screens. It's a good place to watch the footie or rugby.
They have WMS games here like Jackpot Party (you don´t see these too often in the UK), plus loads of IGT slots of course as well as Gaminators. You can play Book Of Ra, Katana, Dolphins Peal, Cleopatra 1 and 2, Siberian Storm, Fire Opals, lil Lady, Pharaohs Fortune etc, all the classis.
So is this the best casino in London? Well, we don´t know about that, we prefer the Hippodrome personally, but Aspers Stratford is a good night out- it´s well worth a visit and the closest thing you´ll get to a Las Vegas casino in the UK. As roulette players, we were impressed with the fact that they played La Partage rule on their European Roulette tables which brings the house edge down on the even money bets to around 1.3%.
We enjoyed our night out here, even though we didn't have a great night on the tables, if we are to be honest!