Roger Moore and Britt Ekland were guests at The Clermont Club in Mayfair
A Mayfair casino once popular with aristocrats, Hollywood film stars, government ministers and gangsters has closed its doors.
The Clermont casino in Berkley Square opened in 1962 and hosted a range of celebrities such as Roger Moore, Britt Ekland, Joan Collins, David Frost, Ryan O’Neill and even Lord ‘Lucky’ Lucan.
The famous gambling haunt lost more than £6 million over the period of two years according to its last annual report. It is due to publish its latest figures tomorrow according to Companies House.
After a decade, the club, which was founded by John Aspinal, was sold to Playboy Enterprises and later passed on to the Mecca and Rank organisations before being bought in 2006 by Malaysian billionaire Quek Leng Chan.
The club was founded following a landmark legal case which legitimised casinos.
On one night, Lord Derby lost £300,000 playing in the club – which is worth around £7 million today.
On the night before he murdered his nanny in 1974, Lord Lucan went to the club to clear up his gambling debts before disappearing for good.
Before gambling was legalised, Aspinal took 5 per cent of the value of any bets on the table for the house. However, following the legalisation of gambling, the club’s income was hit dramatically.
It was a regular haunt for celebrities such as Michael Caine, pictured with his wife Shakira
Journalist David Frost, pictured attended a party for Polly Bergen by Princes Mary Obolensky
According to its most recent annual report, the club, pictured, has lost £6m over two years
As a result, Aspinal and his business partners started scamming their clients using ‘marked cards’ in a scheme dubbed ‘The Big Edge’.
Punters at the casino played a game called ‘Chemmy’. During the big games, the casino would have their own secret player on the table who was able to identify the marked cards and bet accordingly.
One of those players ripped off by the scam was Colonel Bill Stirling – founder of the SAS.
Joan Collins, pictured, with husband Ron Kass, was also a regular at the high profile club
The club was founded by John Aspinal, pictured, who later sold it to Playboy
According to The Times, the club may be about to sold.
Local resident Brooke Greville described it as ‘one of the best names in the casino world’.
He said he and his associates had made an offer to the current owners.