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The best gaming venues to visit in Wales

Rugby, male-voice choirs and playing harps may be the popular stereotypes of life in Wales – but the reality today is full of state-of-the-art fun, from technology to world-beating environmentalism.

And one of the coolest pastimes in the principality is now gaming. Far from being a nation of sheep farming and ancient poetry, Wales has a buzzing contemporary 4gaming community that encompasses a wide range of platforms and genres, from PC and console gaming to mobile and slots online.

Esports in particular has been gaining traction recently across the country, with major events taking place across Wales. Efforts have also been made to translate many popular games into the Welsh language.

The nation has a commitment to preserving its language and culture – and is combining that with a love of the latest games.

According to the UK Interactive Entertainment Association, the UK gaming market now generates over £7 billion a year – and the Welsh gaming industry contributes a large portion of that.

The Wales Games Development Show, for example, is an annual event that showcases the work of top Welsh game developers and promotes the gaming industry across the whole of Wales.

Wales has an increasing share of the UK’s game developers and studios. For instance, the University of South Wales now offers courses in game design and development that involves co-ordination with companies working in the local gaming industry.

Wales also has an active gaming community, with gaming cafes, clubs and forums where gamers can connect, discuss, and compete. Social gaming events, such as LAN parties, are increasingly common.

That’s why games such as ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ and ‘Minecraft’ have already been translated into Welsh.

Top gaming venues in Wales

VR-Here, Rhyl

VR-Here claims to be the UK’s first dedicated virtual reality gaming experience centre. The site offers mind-boggling array of 40 different games with both solo and multi-player options.

Experiences include a Spiderman superhero game, a modern war shooter RPG and of course a zombie shooting experience.

Rhyl is resort on the North Wales coast not far from the cities of Liverpool and Manchester.

Les Croupiers Casino, Cardiff

The largest casino in Wales is in the centre of the capital, Cardiff, and offers a wide variety of gaming options and amenities.

The casino offers an array of themed slot machines plus the classic table games like roulette, blackjack, and poker. Les Croupiers also has modern games like electronic roulette and digital gaming machines.

There’s a bar and a restaurant and the casino hosts special events, including poker tournaments, themed nights and live entertainment.

Membership is not required to enter the casino, but you have to be over 18 and dressed smartly.

Talk and Surf Gaming Lounge, Aberystwyth

This gaming lounge in the mid-Wales university coastal town of Aberystwyth offers a big variety of gaming experiences. The lounge has its own esports events and offers console gaming and PC gaming stations.

Firestorm Games, Cardiff

While primarily a tabletop gaming venue, Firestorm Games in the capital city also hosts video gaming events and has space for gamers to play both tabletop and digital games.

It calls itself the UK’s ultimate online store for buying games – but it has plenty of space in its large modern building for playing too.

Locations like these popular Welsh venues are providing space for gamers to enjoy playing and hold events and tournaments right across the country.

The future of Welsh gaming

The future of gaming in Wales is likely to continue to grow with the advances in technology and the rise of the gaming industry globally.

Esports is particularly growing in Wales and is expected to see a big rise in coming years. More universities and educational institutions are offering esports programs, which will increase the pool of local talent.

As virtual reality becomes become more accessible and affordable, more VR arcades experiences, and gaming centers are opening across Wales.

At the same time the rise of independent game creation tools, means Wales is seeing more indie game studios emerging. This is leading to more games reflecting Welsh culture and storytelling.

There’s a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the gaming industry, encouraging more Welsh-speakers and people from all backgrounds and demographics to participate.

Efforts to incorporate the Welsh language and culture into gaming will mean more games offering Welsh themes that celebrate the national heritage. Gaming elements are increasingly being used in Welsh education and training.

Experts are predicting we will see more gamified learning experiences in schools, universities, and professional development programs in the principality.

Overall, the future of gaming in Wales is heading in a vibrant and diverse direction. Expect to see an increasing mix of traditional gaming experiences and innovative new developments driven by technology and Welsh cultural trends.


Gambling statement

Underage gambling is an offence. You must be over 18 years old to gamble.

Any form of gambling should always be fun, playing in a way that is right for you. It’s good to set limits, take time out or set up reminders.

Please gamble responsibly and in moderation.

For more information on the tools available to help to keep you safe or if you want advice or support you can call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 (England, Scotland and Wales or visit Gamblingtherapy.org).