The Sporting Emporium opened its doors in 2005 and has gone on to become one of Ireland’s top casinos. The club is backed by Irish entrepreneur, Dermot Desmond, meaning that it’s got local knowledge, as well as luxury in its foundations. It is a welcoming place for both beginners and high stakes gamblers.
The casino is open until 6am seven nights a week and you can join on your first visit or online in advance if you’d prefer. It costs €25 to join but you get €25 of betting chips in return, as well as a complimentary drink on your first trip, so it’s essentially free. Not bad for a casino with such luxurious surroundings.
The Sporting Emporium
Half of the Sporting Emporium’s ground floor is given over to numerous electronic machines, including up-to-date slots. There are also electronic roulette tables present and a host of televisions for watching various live sports. The slots are the most interesting feature, however, and they’re dotted around the place to catch your attention.
Blackjack is a very popular game at the Sporting Emporium, so there are a number of tables dedicated to it in the upstairs section of the casino. There are also Free Bet Blackjack tables. This game is a lot like normal Blackjack but you receive a free bet equal to the value of your original stake when you get certain cards dealt to you. The downside is that that dealer doesn’t go bust if they hit 22 with everyone getting a push instead.
There are six live roulette tables in the confines of the Sporting Emporium. If you’re keen to play but don’t like to spend too much money then you’ll pleased to know that you can bet fifty cent stakes from Sunday until Thursday nights. Two exciting things might capture your attention about roulette at the Sporting Emporium. The first is that one of the tables makes use of technology in that it is a LuminAR table, whilst the other is that you can place a side bet on the ball landing on a prime number. That really is Prime Time.
Whilst Blackjack and Roulette are the staple diets of most casinos, the Sporting Emporium offer you a number of other games that you might want to consider turning your hand to, starting with Brag. Better known as three card poker, you can place side bets of the standard Pair Plus variety here.
Punto Banco is a variation of Baccarat that sees the dealer deal two hands. You simply place a bet on which one you think will get closer to nine: Punto or Banco. Sporting Emporium also has another table game called Sic Bo. This ancient Chinese game allows you to bet on the outcome of the roll of three die. Another table that makes use of technology, bets here can start as low as €1.
The top floor of the casino is given over to the Card Room. Here you can play poker on up to fourteen tables from 8pm Thursday to Saturday and from 6.30pm on a Sunday. There are weekly tournaments that start at 8.30pm or at 7pm on Sundays, as well as no limit and cash games. You can use the free €25 you get when you join as your buy-in or registration fee too, if you’d like.
Bars & Restaurants
There’s a nice buffet area on the lower floor and you can get both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in the casino, too. If you enter a poker tournament then you’ll get a free drink during the break.
You do have to be a member in order to enter the Sporting Emporium with guest admission entirely at the discretion of the club. You can complete your application in advance online if you’d like to or you can just join up on the day you attend the casino for the first time. Make sure you’ve got a photo ID and a method of paying the €25 joining fee, though remember you get that back in free chips.
There’s no reward scheme for players in place at the time of writing. Having said that, make sure you check with the club if this is something that interests you because it can, of course, change at any time.
The Sporting Emporium is located just off Grafton Street on Anne’s Lane South Anne Street in the city centre. Dawson Street, Nassau Street and Suffolk Street bus stops are all less than five minutes walk away, whilst Stephens Green stop on the Green Line of the LUAS is only four minutes on foot. If you prefer the Dart or National Rail then Tara Street and Pearse Street stations are about ten-minutes away.