Rank Group’s iconic Grosvenor Victoria Casino, better known as The Vic, is up for sale with owners Aprirose Investors looking for £70m and change.
So The Vic is up for sale if you have a spare £70 million in the bank.
I first learned about the significance of the Grosvenor Victoria Casino Poker Room for the UK poker community after reading Vicky Coren’s book For Richer For Poorer. So when Neil Channing’s Blackbelt Poker started running training days at the venue, myself and a few mates heading on down to the smoke to take a peek.
The training was excellent.
Later on, my mates and I decided to spend the evening at the cash tables and then catch the first train back to South Wales. It was at the beginning of my writing career, and I felt like a superstar when I saw copies of Poker Pro Europe magazine littered around the room, with my story on the front cover.
It was an interview with The Devilfish, my first in the industry, and one of my most controversial ones. Nobody told me about the rules of the game. I interviewed him, tarted it up and published it. When it was released, I had Devilfish on the phone going mental because I had sent it out to the world without him editing it first.
“But you sound so much more hip the way it is now,” I said.
He didn’t agree.
He called me an amateur.
Later that evening, The Devilfish waltzed into The Vic with a Danny Zuko style leather jacket and a young girl on his arm. My mate, who had sunk one too many, leapt from his chair and bolted towards him.
“I’m Lee Davy’s mate.” He said, hugging him.
So he points me out and holds up the issue of Poker Pro Europe with the Devilfish’s mush on the cover, and then he started walking towards me, minus the young girl, and a scowl on his face.
Fancy a Casino?
Property professionals Aprirose Investors secured the freehold sale of the spiritual home of the UK poker scene in 2014 to the tune of £55.5m representing a net initial yield of 4.75%. The 71,138 sq ft property sees between 1,200 & 1,400 customers per day messing up the carpet.
And now the fund wants to make a tidy profit.
According to reports, the Aprirose will let the place go for around £70m. They have hired Knight Frank and Savills to manage the sale as they did back in 2014.
The venue not only runs around the clock cash games and tournaments, but has been the home of the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT), European Poker Tour (EPT), and World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE).
Rank Group currently pay around £2.8m a year to rent the property. Their lease ends in 2026. The Vic is the flagship venue of the 55 locations Rank Group operate in the UK.
And as the Devilfish slowly made his way to my table, putting on his gold knuckle dusters with deliberate effect, I thought I was going to be a permanent part of the decor – well at least, my blood was.
“Are you Lee Davy?” He asked with a look of a man about to wring the neck of a chicken.
“Yeah,” I said standing up, preparing to take my licks.
“Great piece. Great piece. The best interview I have ever done.” He said before allowing me to touch those famous knuckle dusters with a shake of his hand.