FIRST AIRPORT BETTING SHOP OPENED - Wednesday 23rd of May 2007

The first airport betting shop in Britain has opened at East Midlands Airport.

Creating eight new jobs, Ladbrokes has opened a departure lounge branch opposite Gate 15.

The company says it has been "inundated" with requests from travellers spending hours hanging about in departure lounges.

Ladbrokes and EMA say it is the only airport betting shop in the country.

Ladbrokes spokesman Robin Hutchison said: "We had dozens of inquiries from people asking why we couldnt open in the airport.

"Due to security checks, travellers have to check in so early for their flights these days that they spend hours hanging about in the departure lounges.

"They can now watch all the top races and football matches and win themselves a few quid whilst they wait."

The shop, with two giant TV screens, will beam live sporting fixtures into the lounge.

Staff will take wagers in pounds and euros and the firm is looking into the possibility of accepting other currencies. The 300ft shop, next to Millies Cookies, has two tills and four fixed odds betting terminals and opens from 7.30 am to 9.30pm.

Ladbrokes says people like the chance to top up their spending money.

A spokesman said: "Everything in moderation. People have a quick pint, a quick bite to eat, now they can place a quick bet."

Ladbrokes joins two other recent additions to EMA - Accessorize and Travelex.

Accessorize has confirmed a five-year contract with the airport to operate a unit within the refurbished departure lounge.

Travelex will be managing the currency exchange provision, including a number of euro and US dollar cash machines.

Jamie Christon, general manager retail trading, East Midlands Airport said of the arrival of Ladbrokes: "Its a customers personal choice about how they wish to spend their money before their holiday starts."

EMA is officially the UKs fastest growing airport, with passenger numbers growing by 19 per cent to 4.9 million in the past financial year.

Dublin, Malaga, Alicante, Tenerife and Glasgow were the most popular destinations.

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