More than 100 jobs have been created in Paddington with the opening of a money-spinning casino and sports bar.
The GBP 5million development has been unveiled at the Paddintgon Hilton hotel, following a joint investment by Ladbrokes and two private backers, Alan Goodenough and David Seton.
Situated in the heart of the Paddington Waterside Regeneration Area, the grand casino, which was officially opened this week, is expected to create 150 jobs. These will be in the entertainment and catering sector.
A sports bar will offer live coverage of major matches from around the world, a Las Vegas-style slot zone will contain roulette wheels and one-armed bandits, paying out up to £500, and the gaming floor will have a range of casino games including blackjack, poker and punto banco.
In addition an 80-seater restaurant complete with glass-fronted wine cellar will offer a varied menu of Asian and European cuisine.
Ladbrokes chief executive Christopher Bell said: „The Ladbrokes casino and sports bar is superbly located – in close proximity to the Heathrow Express in a part of London that is undergoing significant redevelopment.
„This investment also ensures that LadbrokesK is operationally ready to bid for one or more of the new casino licences under the 2005 Gambling Act, should we decide the final locations represent a sound investment.“
One of the backers, Mr Goodenough, added: „We have delivered the casino on time and on budget and believe we have created a casino which enables people to enjoy playing the tables in modern, stylish surroundings, as well as enjoying the latest live sporting action.“
Membership of the casino is free upon production of photographic ID.
Its arrival has been warmly welcomed by community leaders and regeneration chiefs.
Kay Buxton of the Paddington Waterside Partnership said: „This investment is a further vote of confidence in the potential of Paddington. We’re delighted that 150 jobs are being created in the area and we wish the venture every success.“
Westminster Council licensing spokesman Audrey Lewis added: „There is no doubt that this part of Paddington is being transformed.
„The new casino in the Hilton is a good example of the wide variety now offered in a revitalised urban centre.