London Hippodrome to become a casino - Wednesday 15th of October 2008

London Hippodrome is set to be converted into a casino, after United Leisure Gaming was finally successful in its application for a licence on the site.

Initial attempts to secure a gaming licence for the venue were turned down, but one has now been granted - on appeal - by the gaming justices.

The Hippodrome is one of the capital’s most historic live entertainment venues and used to host water circuses and large-scale spectacles at the beginning of the 20th century. It was also home of cabaret venue Talk of the Town, which closed in 1982, before the site was converted into a nightclub.

Full details of ULG’s plans for the site have not yet been announced, but are expected shortly.

It is understood, however, that live entertainment forms part of the company’s proposals for the venue, which is currently hosting La Clique.

Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for customers and neighbourhoods Audrey Lewis said: “We support the gaming justices granting of the gaming licence to Hippodrome Casino Ltd. We would be happy to see a casino established at the Hippodrome as we feel that a casino will provide visitors to the venue with a more integrated night out, rather than encouraging people to drink heavily on the site, as might happen if it were to become a bar or nightclub.

“In the past, when the venue was run as a nightclub, there were a series of problems on the premises, which included fights and even a shooting and we feel that the venue will serve people better and be safer as a casino.”

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