Millions of tourists make the trip to the Isle of Wight every year to sample some of the brilliant attractions on offer. There’s no doubt that the Isle of Wight has plenty to offer most crowds – it is, after all, home to the most stunning beaches in the UK.
For music lovers there’s the Isle of Wight festival, while thrill seekers have Blackgang Chine and ghost tours to keep them occupied. But there isn’t too much by the way of gambling – an industry that’s experiencing huge growth across the world.
For the average resident with a penchant for gambling, what exactly is there on offer? Let’s take a look.
Rumours of a casino on the island have persisted for decades, but as of yet there is no physical casino on the Isle of Wight. The closest casino is the Grosvenor on Portsmouth, which punters will have to visit by ferry.
Fortunately, the Grosvenor is open 24 hours a day – and the large-scale 2016 refurbishment gave it a brand new gaming area, transforming it into a quality gaming hub. With a range of table games including blackjack and roulette, a range of slot games and a room dedicated to poker, there’s plenty here to keep players engaged – whatever their favourite casino game might be.
With no land-based casino to speak of on the Isle of Wight, the pub poker league was set up over 10 years ago with the aim of bringing the thrill of poker to geographical areas that are deprived of traditional venues.
Check out the pub poker website to keep an eye out for upcoming events on the Isle of Wight, with previous tournaments taking place at Kasbah in Ryde.
Playing at an online casino is one of the best options available to gamers wanting to have a flutter on the Isle of Wight without the hassle of crossing over to Portsmouth. There are literally hundreds of gambling operators offering their services online, giving you access to your favourite casino games at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere, using any device.
Whether you’re a fan of the latest slots themed around your favourite music or movies, random number generator-powered roulette and blackjack where you can try your luck, or live casino that connects you with a real-life dealer through a high-quality video link, today’s online casinos have it all.
However, so much choice can give you a dilemma – where’s best to play? Well, we’ve scoured the web and found a great online casino in the UK you really don’t want to miss. It’s one of our favourite online operators and we’d thoroughly recommend you check it out for yourself.
Alternatively, if you want to start playing without paying, you can get a £20 free no deposit bonus at Casino-Professor.com which is a site with licensed online casinos. This 20 quid allows you to try out loads of different slot machines without risking your own money, so it’s the perfect way to get started if you’re new to the scene.
There is one company on the Isle of Wight currently offering a ‘casino-hire’ service. Shuffles Events are more accustomed to hosting parties, but they do have a roulette wheel, poker table and a blackjack table available to hire.
Hiring the equipment can be quite pricey so it would be advisable to organise the event in advance and make sure there are enough guests to cover the costs.
Use of the casino facilities for fundraising or private profit is strictly prohibited by the gambling commission as that would require a gambling licence. Make sure you check out the relevant legal guidelines before hiring any gambling equipment.
Fixed odds betting terminals
Despite there been no land-based casino on the Isle of Wight there are an abundance of fixed odds betting terminals on the island. In 2016 an economics study found that £63 million had been gambled on fixed odds betting terminals with £2.9 million been lost by players.
Maximum wagers on fixed odds betting terminals were slashed in April of 2019 as the government looked to reduce the social problems of these machines in response to growing public pressure. You can now only bet a maximum of £2 per go.
It might lack the quality of Aintree or Cheltenham but West Ashey Farm doesn’t lack in excitement when it hosts the IoW Grand National and the Ashey Scurry
Sports betting is of course legal on the IoW and you won’t have to look far to find a high street bookies willing to take your wagers. If you’re looking for the thrills and spills of a professional horse race, the only option is to watch on your TV.
However if you’re a grassroots lover of the sport then you can visit the IoW Grand National, an annual event which is held at the West Ashey Farm not far from Ryde. Amateur jockeys head there every March to take part in the race that features cross country, post and rail and natural hedges.
Will there ever be a casino on the Isle of Wight?
It looks unlikely at time of that there will be a casino built on the Isle of Wight in the near future. Hopes were high in 2007 that the island might become home to a tourist casino after Labour announced big plans to create super casinos up and down the country.
So far just one such casino has been built with Aspers currently in the development stages of opening another similar sized establishment in Southampton. That development pretty much ended the IoW’s hopes of building an island casino.
With such a venue nearby planning approval is not likely to be granted as the island would not reap substantial enough revenues from a casino build. So for now your gambling needs will have to be satisfied by a ferry trip, casino hire or visiting an online casino.