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CR79-p24&25-interview:SJC-Casino Review 19/4/09 00:53 Page 2
internationalcasinoreview
An artist’s impression of will not be just another and overlooking the 60-foot sion by the Thomas family to
how the world famous
casino. It will be very dif- high atrium of the main buy out their partners in the
Hippodrome will be
converted into a casino
ferent and we are indebted casino floor will be subcon- holding company United
to Gerald Gouriet QC and tracted to Gordon Ramsay Leisure Gaming. As Thomas
our lawyers James Rankin Holdings. There is a further explains, “Having success-
and Craig Bayliss of Berwin bar area and on the top floor fully seen the plan through
Leighton Payter for under- an impressive Smoking to this stage as one-third
standing the vision and Terrace with its own bar. owners of a consortium, we
proving our case so con- Head of Gaming Peter decided that we wanted to
clusively.” McNally, previously with bring it to its conclusion and
“We were overwhelmed Crockfords amongst others, launch London’s top enter-
by the support we received will oversee a vast casino tainment venue as the sole
from Westminster Council floor with plenty of space operator.”
and the local community for the largest and newest As chairman of the
and we look forward to electronic multiplayer company Thomas describes
repaying their faith by systems as well as traditional his job as being “to make it
launching a world table games and the very happen. I am very much the
renowned venue. When visi- best in slots. The basement figurehead and am
tors come to London they will house a dedicated Poker delighted to fill that role. It
will once again go home Room and a large members’ is an outstanding challenge
saying that they visited The Sports Lounge that will be to be so actively involved in
Hippodrome.” available for private parties all aspects of this amazing
The aim is to be neither and functions. Looking even project. Whilst London has
old-school Mayfair nor new- further ahead, the company many existing casinos,
style ‘corporate’ and the has also taken an option on mostly small, but almost all
target audience will be far the next door premises in gaming led catering for
wider and more aspirational Cranbourne Street which those who just want to sit
than London’s traditional offers 10,000sq ft spread and gamble but not for
high rolling elite. Physical over four floors. people who want more. The
restoration of the building Although the early 2011 Hippodrome will offer a
will take two years and archi- opening date seems a long modern multi-purpose
tectural features include a way off, Thomas does not leisure casino where Lon-
Minstrel’s Gallery, Flemish believe in rushing. “A long- doners and tourists can go
Renaissance plasterwork term investment profile for a whole night’s enter-
and ornate mosaics and brings greater rewards. We tainment and enjoy fabu-
balustrades. Grandeur is have proved this in the past. lous live cabaret, a state of
required and a “Wow!” factor If you develop something the art casino, a gastronomic
is essential. properly from the outset restaurant in spacious luxu-
A raised 150-seat cabaret then results will come rious surroundings and
area will feature retro-style quicker. We plan to open much more, something not
booths and translucent 24/7 and expect 12,000 visi- available in any casino in
‘sound curtain’ designed by tors a week so it is vital that London. When tourists
Nick Frankfort of Donmar we deliver the highest possi- come to London they will
and delivering two shows ble standards.” once again go home saying
each night. The latest development “…and we visited the
The main 200-cover in the project, announced famous London Hippo-
restaurant on the balcony just last month, was the deci- drome.”’
May 2009 • interview 25
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