by Renee Israel
The biggest casino in Britain opened this weekend in Stratford and has
already attracted a horde of UK gamblers keen to see what this complex has to
Aspers Casino Westfield Stratford City, was constructed inside what is
considered the largest 'in-town' shopping center across Europe.
The complex - 65,000 square ft in size - has over 150 slot machines, a 150
seat poker room, nearly 100 electronic gaming machines and 40 roulette and
The new Aspers Casino opened to much fanfare and promises to attract
thousands of players. The casino will be open 24 hours a day, every single day
of the year (except Christmas Day from midnight to midnight).
Before the Gambling Act of 2005 was passed, the largest amount of slot
machines that could be present on gambling premises was 20. However, the Act,
which brought with it the licensing of so called 'super casinos', changed all
that, and opened the doors for the creation of larger casinos such as the Aspers
In 2007, Newham was awarded a license to construct a super casino, and plans
were soon on the drawing board as a joint venture between the Australian Crown
gambling group and UK businessman Damian Aspinall was created.
Aspers Casino Targets a Different Gambling Market
The Aspers Casino makes no secret of the fact that it is targeting a totally
different type of market than traditional high-class gambling establishments do.
The Chief Operating Officer of the casino, Richard Noble, said that the
casino's model is "high volume, low spend" and it is predicted that the average
gambler will stake no more than £20.
"We call what we do 'entertainment betting', rather than particularly aiming
for high stakes, professional betting," said Noble. "We class this as a space
for fun entertainment, that's all."
The casino certainly seems to appeal to the budget-oriented public, with slot
machines boasting wagers as little as 2 p per line. Slot machine names such as
Cheese Caper, Fort Knox Mystery Progressives and Diamond Queen also appeal to
the masses and have the potential to be crowd-pullers.
"When people talk about regeneration, what Westfield, including ourselves,
has brought to Stratford is immense," said Noble. "This is a £1.8 billion
The casino has created 440 new jobs and is located on the edge of the Olympic
Park. "The Olympic facilities and new apartments will benefit the area, but
Stratford City, the Westfield Complex and what we can do in terms of providing a
new leisure option is why we chose to develop a casino in Stratford," said