1

Stars party as Swansea casino opens

Wales’ biggest casino opened last night with a glittering launch party.

Businessman Damian Aspinall and his TV presenter wife Donna Air put on a GBP 75,000 launch party to christen the second in his new chain of plush gambling venues.

One of the first to walk along the flame-lined red carpet rolled out along Swansea’s Wind Street and through the smoked glass doors of the GBP 13m casino was Linden Jones, brother and manager of Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

He was followed shortly afterwards by the actress’s mother Pat wearing a smart, white silky top and black trousers, and her father Dai in a casual, light coloured jacket, pictured right.

The former sweet salesman who turned up in his Jaguar (with personalised number plate) usually restricts his gambling to the race track as a race horse owner.

Completing the „family“ theme, 27-year-old world cruiserweight boxing champion Enzo Maccarinelli of Bonymaen, Swansea, (in a pinstripe suit) turned up with his parents, leaving his wife Eloise to care for their new-born son.

Cyril Hartson, the father of former Wales striker John Hartson was also at the bash along with Enzo Calzaghe, father and trainer of boxing champion Joe.

The party was headlined by The X Factor star Ray Quinn, the Liverpudlian teenager who made his name on the show singing swing music, who performed a set including My Way.

Others to step along the red carpet included Health Minister Edwina Hart and her husband, and Martin Morgan, the multi- millionaire owner of Swansea’s Morgans Hotel and his wife and business partner Louise.

The event became a „lads’ night out“ for Swansea City players who turned up without their wives and girlfriends.First on the scene was defender Alan Tate in a black jumper and jeans who shouted to a PR man at the door, „Can you let us in, it’s me, (Tom) Butler and Monks (Gary Monk)“.

But the answer was, „No, you have to register and go in the VIP queue.

Other players at the bash included Trinidad and Tobago defender Dennis Lawrence in jeans, dark jacket and a big gold chain, fellow defenders Kevin Amankwah and Marcos Painter and new striker Darryl Duffy.