London’s Fox Poker Club Closes
The Fox Poker Club, a poker fixture in London, suddenly shut its doors this week, leaving its members bewildered and disappointed.
On its website, the Fox Poker Club posted the following brief announcement:
It is with regret that Genting UK Plc today announces that the Fox Poker Club will cease operation. The Management and Staff of Fox Poker Club would like to thank all of its customers for supporting the venture over the past two years.
The Shaftesbury Avenue club was established in 2005 by Ian Hogg and Chris North and remained independent until a year ago, when it was sold to Genting UK, Britain’s largest casino operator.
The poker community’s reaction to the closing was mixed. While of course many people were saddened, others did not like the way things had gone since the Genting purchase in 2011. One poster on the Two Plus Two forum, “Dragon-Ash,” wrote, “Color me not that surprised. Not only was the place horribly managed since the Genting take-over, sounds like Genting wants to take advantage of their full casino license and turn it into a casino, which I don’t get (there are already two full casinos very close by…).”
As it turns out, that poster is correct. Genting later announced that Fox will not be closed for good, but will rather be renovated and re-established as a small, Genting-branded casino, possibly as soon as March 2013. In a statement, Genting said the closure was purely financial:
We have carefully reviewed the performance of the Fox Poker Club over the last few months and it has unfortunately become clear that despite offering a dedicated venue and the best efforts of our staff, there is insufficient demand for the club in its current format.
It added that Genting is still in the London poker business, pointing out the Genting Casino Cromwell Mint and The Palm Beach in Mayfair as two alternate locations for Fox Poker Club patrons. The Fox website has been updated to inform customers that any deposits and tournament tokens will be transferred to the aforementioned Genting Casino Cromwell Mint. Fox cash chips can also be redeemed there.
The Fox Poker Club’s poor performance could be partially the result of it being a poker-only club and therefore limited in the scope of its revenue. It could also have something to do with its proximity to other gaming venues, as “Dragon-Ash” mentioned. Within just a few blocks are the Casino at the Empire, the Hippodrome Casino, Napoleon’s Leicester Square, and the Golden Nugget.
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