As a rule, I’m quite happy to be the person who asks the ‘dumb’ questions when necessary. It all stems from when I was learning to ride a motorcycle many years ago. At the time it made sense to know how to start it, use the gears and even bring it to a stop.

However there was a nagging doubt at the back of my mind. One question I should have asked but was too embarrassed to; how do you go about not falling off? I didn’t ask and as a result, brought a fairly heavy motorcycle to a lovely controlled stop – and promptly fell off.

Ever since, I’ve never been shy to admit when I don’t have a clue. Believe me it’s better to have people think you’re an idiot than to prove it!

It’s likely you’ve heard of fun casinos as a form of entertainment. In my (many) years as a singer in a wedding band I came across them fairly regularly, but I never really grasped what they were all about. I mean people looked like they were having a lot of fun but I put their happy smiling faces down to the fact that by playing roulette or blackjack, they were able to avoid listening to me.

So once again, in my capacity as Eventace’s official nosey parker, I managed to catch a few moments with Matt Lee, the owner and Managing Director of Manta Ray Events, a company that provides all manner of specialist entertainment services, including, you guessed it, fun casinos.

I warned Matt that I’d probably be asking some really basic questions about what’s actually involved in fun casino’s, why it’s a great idea to book them for your wedding and who a typical customer would be. I needn’t have worried about exasperating Matt, because his passion for what he does is so obvious that in the end I knew all I needed to know and didn’t feel remotely like a daftie.

So here are the things you always wanted to know about fun casinos but were too scared to ask.

Q1. Do you use real money?
No. We provide your guests with vouchers, which we can customise on your behalf to feature your company logo or the name and an image of the happy couple. The guests then exchange the vouchers for chips at the gaming tables. At the end of the event, the person who has won the most chips usually gets a bottle of Champagne and a Winners Plaque along with bragging rights for the rest of time!

Q2. Do I require a gaming licence?
No – our casinos are run in accordance with the current gaming laws which allow them to be run for entertainment purposes only. There are two important considerations, firstly that the Fun casino is not the first or sole reason for attending the event e.g. a Fun casino at a wedding – guest are invited to the marriage of the couple and not to the fun casino entertainment. Secondly that no gambling for personal gain is allowed.

Q3. Do you provide staff to operate the tables?
Absolutely. We only use experienced, professional, smartly dressed croupiers who will be happy to explain how the games work for beginners but who will make experienced gamers feel they are in the hands of experts.

Q4. What games do you provide?
We can provide the most popular games of Roulette & Blackjack, as well as Casino Stud Poker, Three Card Poker, Texas Hold ‘EM Poker and Baccarat (Punta Banco). We also have access to other games including Craps.

Q5. What’s included in your package?
All our packages come with: Setting up and taking down of the equipment, 3 hours of entertainment, and free delivery up to 10 miles from Glasgow or Edinburgh, full size casino quality tables, Professional croupiers for each table, personalised fun money and Prizes.

Q6. How many tables will I need at my wedding or event?
As a guide we would recommend 1 table per 40 – 70 guests depending on whether there is additional entertainment occurring at the same time as the fun casino is operating.
We would recommend no less than 2 tables – normally Blackjack and Roulette – however other factors need to be considered – including your budget and the length of time the casino is open.

Q7. Can I use fun casino hire to raise funds for my charity event?
For clubs and registered charities a fun casino can also be used as a fund raising vehicle. There are a number of ways of achieving this – however the principal is that the ‘fun’ money is sold to your guests with the reward of non-monetary prizes to the winners. I’ll be happy to discuss the details with anyone interested in raising funds this way along with advice on how many tables to hire.

From my chat with Matt, it became obvious, even to me that a fun casino is a ‘must have’ if you’re serious about providing your guests with a fabulous and varied experience. And if you’re raising money for a good cause, they’re a no brainer.

Play your cards right (see what I did there) and you’ll be able to get quotes from every kind of events supplier you can think of, including the marvellous Manta Ray team with just one single post on Eventace.com

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