Super-casinos still on the cards - Thursday 12th of May 2005

An agency that specialises in recruiting dealers and hospitality staff for casinos has claimed it could be on a winning streak thanks to Labour's re-election.Labour last month trimmed from eight to one the number of Las Vegas-style super-casinos it planned to introduce to the UK.

Regulations allowing smaller casinos are on the statute books.However, Colin Thompson, business development manager at Empire Casino Recruitment in Staffordshire, said the government could still pave the way for the introduction of large casinos by amending the rules - without having to send them to the House of Lords for approval.The unsociable hours associated with gaming mean that casino recruitment is often difficult.But an influx of workers from Eastern European countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Poland has boosted recruitment in the sector.

And gambling companies are not interested in hiring stereotypically glamorous croupiers, Thompson said."Most employers in the area are not looking for leggy lovelies, although that's what we thought they would be after when we first entered the market."They are looking for dedicated customer service staff who care about their work. As long as they have those attributes, the employers are interested - you don't have to be good looking."Empire places around 50 to 60 permanent staff in casinos across the UK every month and works with two of the country's largest gaming companies.A shock tactics campaign by the Conservatives and right-wing press, focusing on gambling addiction, led to the watered-down proposal.

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