Grosvenor Casinos

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Grosvenor Casinos
Industry Gambling
Founded 1970
Headquarters Maidenhead, UK
Number of locations
55
Number of employees
6,349
Parent The Rank Group
Website grosvenorcasinos.com

Established in 1970,[1] Grosvenor Casinos (formerly County Clubs and Grosvenor Clubs) is a UK-based chain of 55 casinos located in major towns and cities across the UK, with two unbranded sister casinos located in Belgium. Grosvenor Casinos is owned by The Rank Group who operate exclusively in the casino, bingo and online gaming industries across Belgium, Spain and the UK.

As of June 2014, revenue was reported at £391.2m, with an operating profit of £56.8m - coming from a total of over 1.7 million customers per year.[2] Of these 1.7 million customers, over 8.5 million customer visits occur every year. The Grosvenor casino network currently employs over 6,300 employees across the UK. Their online casino hosts over 250 games with themes spanning from traditional roulette, blackjack and poker - to the more modern slot styles and live gaming. Grosvenor are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.[3]

Originally ‘County Clubs’, the casinos came to be known as ‘Grosvenor Clubs’ and in 1969 on 2 January, Grosvenor Clubs officially changed name to ‘Grosvenor Casinos’.

Grosvenor Casinos is currently the shirt sponsor for Fulham F.C. Grosvenor signed a deal to become the London club's main team partner in July 2017.

History[edit]

Acquisition of the Ricoh Arena casino[edit]

In April 2009 Grosvenor purchased the casino inside the Ricoh Arena complex in Coventry for £650,000.[4]

Leaving the British Casino Association[edit]

During 2009, Grosvenor Casinos announced they were leaving the now defunct British Casino Association (BCA). The BCA existed to promote casino best practice and influence UK government legislation surrounding gambling. Reportedly the BCA began to fail in promoting and improving the casino industry, and once annual membership fees were raised to £140,000, it saw the departure of Grosvenor, just as the large Gala Coral Group had withdrawn in October 2008.[5]

Loyalty card scheme[edit]

In May 2012, the first roll out of a new plastic card service in Grosvenor Casinos was implemented with ‘Grosvenor Play Points’ entering 35 casinos across the UK. This came as a result of the Grosvenor Casinos and Play Points brands merging to create one loyalty card.[6]

Gala takeover[edit]

Grosvenor Casinos completed their takeover of 19 casinos from the Gala Coral Group across the UK on 12 May 2013 [7] making them the largest casino network in the UK. A similar deal to acquire 23 casinos from Gala had previously stalled in 2012 due to a decision by the Competition Commission and OFT.[8] The revised deal in 2013 saw 4 casinos removed from the agreement.

Redtooth partnership[edit]

On 28 April 2014, Grosvenor Casinos announced a two-year partnership with the world’s largest live pub poker tournament group Redtooth Poker. Grosvenor Casinos hosted the regional and national UK finals and online events. The move integrated Redtooth Poker and Grosvenor’s own poker tournament, the Grosvenor UK Poker Tournament (GUKPT).[9]

Live events[edit]

On 25 March 2011, Grosvenor Casinos announced they were to host new poker event called the Goliath. Designed to attract up to 1,500 players, the Goliath had an initial buy-in at £100 + £20 and offered a guaranteed prize pool of £100,000, with 25% of the registration fee going to the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity.[10] The most recent Goliath event in 2014 became the largest poker tournament ever held outside of the USA with a total of 3,394 players entering.[11] For the 2015 event Grosvenor estimate over 4,000 participants will enter.[12]

Grosvenor employees also played the highest poker tournament on record at the top of Mount Snowdon in September 2011. The 3,500 ft. stunt was attempted to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity, with a total of £11,000 being collected.[13]

Controversy[edit]

In December 2006 staff walked out of four Grosvenor Casinos in London in a dispute over pay increases.[14] A month later, around 300 workers went on strike over the same ongoing dispute.[15]

In September 2014 Northern Ireland's Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, dismissed the idea that a Grosvenor Casino could open due to the ongoing ban on casinos.[16]

Technology[edit]

In November 2011, Grosvenor installed software that would spot cheating at roulette tables. Developed by Ipsotek, the software detects a cheat called "top-hatting", as well as detecting cheating after "last bets" has been called. The software is linked to CCTV cameras monitoring the table at all times.[17]

In October 2012, Grosvenor introduced a new product to the casino industry, Pinball Roulette machines. The new machine offers single player roulette game and the ball is launched by a pinball-style trigger into the wheel. The main feature of the product is that it offered the player control over when they wished to spin the ball. Thirty of the machines, developed by Austrian Gaming Industries, were installed at 22 clubs across the UK.[18]

During November 2013, Evolution Gaming joined Grosvenor Casinos to create a ‘Live Casino’ targeting players on their online casino.[19] The games include blackjack, roulette and baccarat and are available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. The live game system is designed to produce an environment more closely matching a real casino experience.

In July 2013, Grosvenor Casinos in London, Reading and Coventry created the world’s first multi-site cloud casino experience called the IGT Cloud. The new technology offers analytical reporting tools which offer insight into product performance on a game-by-game basis. Operators can remotely change the games on the floor to provide a more customised gambling experience.[20]

Grosvenor Casinos partnered with Tensator in 2014 to create virtual casino hosts. The Tensator Virtual Assistant Ultra stands 50 cm x 50 cm and replicates a live game in real time. The assistant also offers a range of information for players and other frequently asked questions.[21]

In February 2014, The Rank Group and Grosvenor Casinos joined with Jumio to use their Netverify solution. This was integrated into the casino’s online database and is designed to provide customers with a more efficient identification procedure. Customers are required to scan their passport or driving licence via their device camera, and Netverify then authenticates it using a range of security features.[22]

Grosvenor awarded TCS John Huxley a new 3-year deal to service and maintain their gaming equipment across the UK, starting February 2015.[23]

Awards[edit]

International Gaming Awards[edit]

Grosvenor and Rank were awarded the 'Casino Operator of the Year' award at the 2013 International Gaming Awards.[24] Rank Group were awarded the 'Socially Responsible Operator of the Year Land Based' award in 2014 and 2015.[25][26]

Women in Gaming Awards[edit]

Grosvenor Casinos’ HR team were awarded Team of the Year at the Women in Gaming independent annual awards in June 2012. The team, led by Fiona Regan Head of HR, were awarded for their successful Hearts and Minds initiative, which focused on internal and employee recognition.[27]

In 2014 they won the same award whilst also picking up the Inspiration of the Year award.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rank - Grosvenor Casinos". Rank.com. 
  2. ^ "Rank - Grosvenor Casinos". Rank.com. 
  3. ^ "Gambling Commission". Gambling Commission. 
  4. ^ "Sold Ricoh casino in £1m revamp". BBC News. 
  5. ^ "Casino operator's withdrawal leaves trade body floundering". Financial Times. 
  6. ^ "Grosvenor Casinos places bet on Plastic Card Services". 
  7. ^ "Mecca Bingo owner Rank buys Gala casinos for £205m". BBC News. 
  8. ^ "Rank takeover of Gala sent to Competition Commission - BBC News". 
  9. ^ "Redtooth wins at Grosvenor Casino". The Star. 
  10. ^ "1,500 Runner Grosvenor Goliath Announced in Coventry". UK Poker News. 
  11. ^ "World poker: Goliath smashes record for biggest poker tournament held outside US". The Mirror. 
  12. ^ "Goliath Poker Tournament 2015". Retrieved 2015-07-14. 
  13. ^ "Stakes are high for Snowdon poker". Wales Online. 
  14. ^ "Casino staff to strike in row over pay deal". The Guardian. 
  15. ^ "Casino staff walk out over pay". BBC News. 
  16. ^ "Nelson McCausland says casino ban will not be removed". BBC News. 
  17. ^ "Casino cheats snared by smart camera system". New Scientist. 
  18. ^ "G Casinos get pinball roulette". InterGame. 
  19. ^ "UK – Evolution doubles Grosvenor's online live dealer offer". G3. 
  20. ^ "Grosvenor Casinos to manage gaming machines from the cloud". TechWorld.com. 
  21. ^ "Tensator's Virtual Assistant proves safe bet for Grosvenor Casinos". Tensator. 
  22. ^ "Rank identify Jumio as new partners". SBC News. 
  23. ^ "Grosvenor contract for TCS John Huxley". InterGame. 
  24. ^ "IGA Winners 2013". Gaming-Awards.com. 
  25. ^ "IGA Winners 2014". Gaming-Awards.com. 
  26. ^ "IGA Winners 2015". Gaming-Awards.com. 
  27. ^ "Grosvenor Casinos HR team wins prestigious award". InterGame. 
  28. ^ "WIG Winners 2014". Gaming-Awards.com.