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Glasgow’s Casino in the Heart of the City

4 January 2023

Glasgow isn’t much known as one of the classic casino cities, but while it’s a very long way from Las Vegas, the city does play host to a small slice of that world right next to the city centre. Situated at the heart of the Glasgow Quay, the Alea Glasgow is not only an impressive entertainment venue, but also a striking building both inside and out.

The Building at a Glance

Knowing that a full Vegas treatment with neon lights and moving signs wouldn’t match even the gaudier parts of the city, let alone the more down-to-earth waterfront along the Clyde, the architects have instead struck a balance between making the structure appealing without sticking out too badly.

The overall design is modern but with Glasgow sensibilities, with lots of glass fronting on the waterfront side but minimal curvature on the facade, preferring a more angular face. During the day, this facade still manages to draw the eye, however at night, when the casino lights are all on and the building is fully lit up, all that glass helps to amplify the effect. It’s still not as much as the Vegas strip but it definitely outshines its neighbours.

Glasgow's casino in the heart of the city

Internally, the architecture goes far more experimental, with flowing curved wooden panels going vertically between the floors, and light installations snaking across the ceilings that end up looking like octopus tentacles. It is certainly unique and draws in much more of that Vegas extravagance that couldn’t really be shown on the outside. As a note, that includes even the furnishings, with the wallpaper and carpeting all having the same unusual snaky designs.

From the other side away from the water, it’s a completely different story, and the building blends seamlessly in with the restaurants and entertainment venues that make up the whole quay complex. A wide stone awning covers a small road used for taxi arrivals, much the same as one might see on a high-end hotel or casino out in the US or in Monte Carlo.

The Casino Itself

While the overall feel is going for Vegas, this is still Glasgow after all and the atmosphere is very welcoming. While a membership is needed to play and there are minimum wager amounts, nothing feels too exclusive and it is very much open to new casino players. For anyone looking to start out on the slots, online casino MrQ provides a great slots guide for beginners, and we’d recommend checking out some of the countless YouTube guides before you hit the blackjack table.

Glasgow casino in heart of the city

Beyond the casino, there is also a waterfront restaurant and all the live entertainment you’d expect at a Vegas casino establishment such as tribute acts and live DJs.

As these businesses go, the Alea Glasgow does manage to bring that neon feeling to the city without actually using all the neon, and stands as a great example of the creative ways that the waterfront parts of Glasgow can be brought into modern times without damaging the local feeling.

Comments on this guide to Glasgow’s casino in the heart of the city article are welcome.

Major Scottish Buildings

Key Buildings in Scotland Articles – architectural selection below:

Merchant City boutique hotel
Merchant City hotel Glasgow
image courtesy of architects practice
Merchant City

Glasgow Science Centre

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Historic Glasgow : best Glasgow architecture of the past

Glasgow Building Designs

Contemporary Glasgow Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

New Blue Sky Lounge at Ibrox Stadium
Blue Sky Lounge Ibrox Stadium Glasgow
image courtesy of Rangers FC
Blue Sky Lounge at Ibrox Stadium

Cameron House Resort Building News
Cameron House Loch Lomond Resort Scotland
photo courtesy of Cameron House
Cameron House Loch Lomond Resort

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