The Lighthouse Casino is the only one in the town of Athlone that offers a decent variety of live gaming. Though poker is the club’s specialisation, there are also American roulette tables and Blackjack areas for your pleasure and amusement. On top of that, there are numerous machines that have different computerised gaming options open to you, should that be something you’re interested in.
When it comes to opening hours, you’ve got plenty of choice. The Lighthouse is shut on a Monday and Tuesday but is open from 10pm until 5pm the following day for the rest of the week. You do have to be registered with the casino in order to get inside and play games, but registration is easy. As long as you’ve got a photo ID that displays your date of birth, you should be fine.
The Lighthouse Casino Athlone
There is a small selection of electronic gaming machines offering things such as video poker here. It’s only a few machines, though, so don’t be expecting a wide and glittering gaming floor full of blinking lights like you’d find in Vegas.
You need to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going bust. That is, in essence, the rules of Blackjack summed up. Yet the game continues to fascinate and enthrall people as much now is it did when it first hit the casino floor. That’s why you’ll find tables offering it at the Lighthouse Casino.
Another game that is remarkably simple and yet incredibly addictive is roulette. The Lighthouse Casino offers the American variant of this famous casino staple, meaning that there are two zeros in play. Or – to be slightly more accurate – one zero and a double zero. That means that the game favours the house ever so slightly more than its European counterpart, but don’t think that means it’s any less interesting to play.
The Lighthouse Casino is a cosy place, meaning that the proprietors made a decision some time ago to concentrate on the classic casino games rather than try to do too much with a small amount of space. Consequently, at the time of writing there are no other games on offer than the ones mentioned here.
Just because there aren’t many games to play other than a casino’s ‘staple’ offerings doesn’t mean that the Lighthouse isn’t worth visiting. Poker is where the action is really at with the casino promising numerous tournaments, leagues, and cash games on a regular basis. The tournament, for example, runs every Thursday and Sunday for a three-month period in order to discover the ultimate winner. The cash games, meanwhile, tend to run on a Wednesday and are popular with the locals.
Bars & Restaurants
There is a bar in the Lighthouse Casino but the offerings are slim. There are hot and cold drinks available, as well as some limited food options. That’s mainly stuff that can be cooked in a microwave, to be honest, so don’t be expecting Michelin starred fayre.
What some casino’s refer to as membership the Lighthouse calls ‘registration’. This is in order to comply with Irish law that says you need to register on the company’s computer in order to visit the casino floor. All you need to do to register, however, is take along some photographic identification that also displays your date of birth. The likes of your passport or driving license should suffice. If you know you’re going then you can send a copy of your ID in advance via email, though you’ll need to present the hard copy on your first visit.
There is no player rewards system in place at the Lighthouse at the time of writing. There is a forum where you can discuss casino games and so on, though, so you may want to raise this issue there if it’s something that really matters to you.
Athlone is pretty close to being smack bang in the centre of Ireland, just at the bottom of Lough Ree. The casino itself is just on the edge of the River Shannon, virtually opposite the Athlone Castle and Visitor Centre along the Custume Place Bridge. It’s also down the road from the Radisson Blu hotel, should you need somewhere to stay and a more obvious landmark to aim for.
If you’re hoping to get there by public transport then you’re in luck. Athlone’s main train station is about five-minutes walk away from the casino, straight along Northgate Street. When it comes to getting the bus, there are two stops within a short distance of the Lighthouse. Round one corner you’ve got Northgate Street bus stop, whilst the other way is Mardyke Street. If you fancy a bit of a walk then Connaught Street is on the other side of the bridge.