Betting in Madrid

Published: 06/04/2013

As the capital and largest city of Spain, Madrid has a metro population of over 7.2 million residents, some 3.3 million of whom live in the urban core. It is the third-largest city in the European Union, following London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area ranks third in the European Union after London and Paris, administratively divided into 21 districts, which are further subdivided into 128 wards

The city is located on the Manzanares River, where the Roman built a fortress in the 2nd century BCE. It has been a crossroad of cultures in the centuries since, first conquered by Muslims and then Christians, acting as the location for the gathering of the unified courts of Spain in the 14th and 15th centuries, and the home of the Spanish monarchy until its end. Today, Madrid rates high among global cities, as the major financial centre of Southern Europe and the most touristic city not only of Spain but also ranked third in the EU and seventh in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

Although games of chance have been legal in Spain since 1981, and Spaniards love to gamble, interest in casinos and slot arcades has been subdued in the capital, leaving the resorts in coastal cities to develop the nation’s gaming industry. Within Madrid’s city centre, just a handful of electronic gaming emporiums exist, such as Sala Gorbea on Puerta de Alcolea, Sala Macoes on Avenida de Portugal and Sala Universal on Calle de las Carretas.

Typical of these is the Diviertt Gaming Center and Zona Victoria, one of four properties owned in Madrid by Grupo Comar. The Diviertt brand has been used for many years by Comar to identify its locally manufactured leisure and recreational games, including electronic Roulette, Blackjack, Video Slots and Poker Bingo. The Diviertt Gaming Center features parking, a bar, an automatic change terminal and vending services, open Sunday through Friday from 10am to 11:30pm and Saturdays from 10am till midnight.

Grupo Comar also operates a network of traditional casinos across Spain and their one serving Madrid is in the bed town of Aranjuez, Madrid, about 50 kilometres south of the city centre off the A-6 Highway. The Gran Casino Aranjuez features 90 gaming machines and 20 table games, including Roulette and Blackjack plus a wide variety of Poker games, from Texas Hold’em and Omaha to Poker Synthetic, Stud Poker, Poker Circle, Poker Machines and Electronic Poker. There is also a Sports Book on the premises along with two restaurants, a café and a cocktail bar.

The largest and nearest full-scale casino in the Madrid area is the Casino Gran Madrid. It is located in Torrelodones, Madrid, roughly 30 kilometres from the city centre to the northwest off the R-4 Highway. The casino features a 110,000-square-foot gaming space with 400 gaming machines and 63 table games, including American Roulette, Blackjack, French Roulette, Poker and Punto Banco. The property also features a sports bar and six restaurants—from French and American to Asian and a Continental buffet—plus the attached Gran Hotel La Rosa. Hours of operation are from 4pm to 5am on Monday through Thursday and 4pm to 6am on Fridays and Saturdays, closed 24 December.

One other gambling activity enjoyed by local residents of Madrid is horse racing. They are served by the track at the Hipódromo de la Zarzuela in the northwest suburb called Aravaca. Thoroughbred racing takes place on Thursdays from 9am to 2pm and on Fridays from 9am to3pm. Food and drinks are available at the Villa Gourmet Pop-up Store, El Restaurante del Hipódromo and the Paddock Bar.

Published on: 06/04/2013

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