After Hours: Take a gamble on Star City
Stars and Stripes August 2, 2006
BIRMINGHAM — A yellow neon sign outside the Star City Casino promoted a Vegas experience. But it was far from it.
Sure, there were slot machines, table games and cocktail waitresses, but where were the dazzling hotels, frozen daiquiris served in footlong novelty glasses or even the $5 steak buffets?
I guess you can’t expect everything that makes Las Vegas famous to be at this casino, which is in northeast Birmingham right off the M6 motorway. Plus, when Las Vegas is more than 5,000 miles away, you may be stuck with what is within driving distance.
Claiming to be the biggest casino in the United Kingdom, the Star City Casino awards gamblers the opportunity to win big at numerous slot machines and 40 gambling tables that include progressive stud poker, three-card poker, blackjack, wheel of fortune and my Achilles’ heel — the roulette table.
I brought 60 pounds to Star City and left with 20 because of that greedy spinning wheel. Saying that, I did have a Vegas experience by losing most of my money.
Before testing your odds in the casino area, try some dinner in the complex, where you’ll find Mexican, Italian and Indian restaurants, among others. There are also four bars situated throughout the casino that stay open until 2 a.m.
If the excitement and glamour of a live performance is for you, head to the casino’s Vegas Show Bar on Saturday night when they hold a dinner and cabaret show. The show costs 22.50 pounds and includes a three-course meal with entertainment, which is usually a tribute band.
In order to gamble at the casino, one must be a member and at least 18 years old. Don’t forget to bring a photo identification card before heading up to the casino. You would hate to be turned down at the door after driving all the way up there. Those who qualify for membership get it free.
Location: The Star City complex can be found on Watson Road in northeast Birmingham. Take the M6 motorway to the Birmingham (Cent.)/Birmingham (NE)/A38 exit, then bear right onto the ramp to Birmingham (NE)/A38. At Salford Circus, take the fourth exit onto Lichfield Road. Turn left at Cuckoo Road and another left at Watson Road.
Food and drink: The Star City complex has numerous bars and a wide range of restaurants that serve Mexican, Italian and Indian, among other food selections.
Ambience: The complex includes a casino with slot machines and 40 gambling tables, a movie theater, amusement attractions and a bowling alley.
Web site: www.starcitycasino.co.uk/home.asp
For a listing of other casinos in the United Kingdom, check out: www.gamingfloor.com/Britain/index.htm