Betting in Birmingham

Published: 02/04/2013

Situated in the West Midlands, Birmingham has gone through many transformations in its long history, from a tribal settlement in the 6th and 7th centuries to a medieval market town and then the hub of 18th century industrialisation efforts, noted worldwide for innovations in science, technology, manufacturing processes and economic organisation. In 2011, Birmingham’s population surpassed one million residents, making it the most populous British city outside London.

Not surprisingly, then, the city also provides a robust environment for recreation and entertainment. The nightlife district extends along Broad Street and into Brindleyplace, bordered by plenty of stylish clubs as well as a bustling underground scene. There’s a well established Chinese Quarter, a new Gay Village along Hurst Street, many late-night Irish pubs lining Digbeth and a renewed urban village and zone for creative businesses in the old Jewellery Quarter. And of course there are gambling opportunities, too, ranging from bookmaking and bingo to full-service casinos.

Three of the city’s top gambling halls are owned by a single entertainment conglomerate: Genting Casinos UK. The Genting Casino Edgbaston on Norfolk Road is open daily from 2pm till 4am, offering 16 gaming machines and 19 table games, including Poker, Roulette, Blackjack, Punto Banco and Casino Stud. Meanwhile, the Genting Club Star City operates daily from noon to 6am, featuring 12,000 square feet of gaming space with 46 gaming machines and 36 table and poker games. One restaurant and three bars are available, too.

The Genting Casino Chinatown on Hurst Street offers casino action 24/7. Its 20 gaming machines are complemented by 14 tables for Blackjack, Roulette, Stud Poker and Mah Jong. Serving food and drink on the premises is the Hou Mei Restaurant, specialising in Chinese cuisine.

In February 2013, Genting Casinos broke ground on yet another property—Resort World Birmingham—a £150-million leisure and entertainment complex with a new luxury casino. When completed in 2015, the facility will be seven storeys tall and cover some 538,000 square feet, including conference and banquet space, a hotel and spa, retail outlets, food and beverage facilities, and a cinema.

Competing for Birmingham business with the Genting locations is another well known name in British gambling circles—the Grosvenor G Casino. It is located inside the Fiveways Leisure Complex on Broad Street and open 24 hours a day. Blackjack and Roulette are the main attractions among the 14 tables in the pit area, and there are 34 gaming machines available, too. A restaurant and bar can be found on the premises, where the dress code is smart casual.

The Gala Casino on Hill Street is also a 24/7 venue, with 27 gaming machines, 23 tables for Blackjack, Poker and Punto Banco, and one restaurant, the Chargill Grille. Then, inside Broadway Plaza, there’s the 24,000-square-foot Broadway Casino. It has 20 gaming machines, 28 table games and the Mirage restaurant serving Chinese, Indian and Thai cuisine.

Bingo lovers will want to check out the Mecca Bingo facility at Acocks Green and the Shipleys Luxury Bingo Club - Weoley Castle. The former has 81 gaming machines in addition to bingo sessions starting from noon till 9:15pm, while the latter has a huge capacity for up to 1,200 seated players.

From 1885 to 1965, the Bromford Bridge Racecourse operated an 11-furlong track that was home to the City of Birmingham Cup. Lester Piggott rode a double on the final day of racing there, before the acreage was converted to housing development. Race fans nowadays make the trek northwest to Wolverhampton for flats or southeast to Warwick for jumps.

Those who enjoy dog racing, however, don’t have far to travel at all. Hall Green Stadium on York Road is a dog racing facility with two tracks that feature greyhounds. It is open on Fridays from 7:35pm to 10:30pm and Saturdays from 7:20pm to 10:30pm. Good dining can be found on the property at the Blue Riband Suite and the Grandstand Restaurant, both of which serve dinner.

Competing with the Hall Green Stadium for dog enthusiasts is the Perry Bar Stadium on Aldridge Road. It also has two tracks for greyhound racing along with a well recommended Grandstand Restaurant. The hours are from 7:30pm to 10:30pm on both Fridays and Saturdays.

Published on: 02/04/2013

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