Casino Royale - Wednesday 9th of August 2006

WHO would have bet on it? Prince Harry has been spotted playing blackjack and roulette at a Bournemouth casino.

The third-in-line to the throne, currently training to become a tank commander at Bovington Camp, took a spin at Stanleys Casino on Yelverton Road on Thursday.

A member of staff said: "He came in about 9.30pm - he had all his people with him, and some friends.

"He kind of kept himself to himself in his own area and the bodyguards kept the area clear.

continued...

"He was here for an hour or two, just relaxing, and I spotted him having a go on the roulette with his friends. He was very pleasant and as good as gold.

"It was quite an interesting face to see walk through the door!"

A fellow blackjack player, who asked not to be named, said the prince had been with a group of friends.

He added: "They were just ordinary, very nice people. Everybody there left them alone to get on with it, nobody gave them any hassle.

"As I was leaving he moved in and took my seat as I left. He was playing blackjack and I think he had a little dabble on the roulette as well.

"He was cashing in some money at the end of it.

The guy on the cash desk said it must have been embarrassing for him because every time he picks up a note its got a picture of his gran on it."

The prince could soon have a choice of gambling venues to visit after Bournemouth out-scored dozens of its rivals in the bid for a new casino.

We revealed recently that the town was odds-on for the attraction after being awarded a total of 48 points by the Casino Advisory Panel, ranking it 13th out of the 53 venues looking for a large or small casino. There are 16 casino licences up for grabs and, with Bournemouth faring better than fellow resorts such as Brighton, Hastings and Scarborough, the town is in a good position to receive one.

The princes face has started to become more familiar in the area since he started his training in May. He has also been spotted in Toko bar, where he and his friends were given the VIP area.

And his brother, Prince William, was seen at The Quay on Poole Quay, when he stopped off while on a sailing course in the Solent as part of his Army officer training at Sandhurst.

There have also been rumours that Harry has rented an isolated cottage in a place called Shaggs, in Lulworth.

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