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Party like Jay-Z with Stratford casino’s bling competition

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 January 2017 | UPDATED: 08:00 25 January 2017

Aspers Casino chairman Damian Aspinall

Aspers Casino chairman Damian Aspinall

Archant

Aspers Casino is looking at a £2million bar bill as it hands out golden bottles of champagne to lucky punters.

Aspers Casino chairman Damian Aspinall Aspers Casino chairman Damian Aspinall

Over a million pounds’ worth of Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Brut Gold was given away to blackjack players at the Stratford gaming venue last month, and now casino boss Damian Aspinall is repeating the stunt at the roulette wheels.

The gambling tycoon said the undeniably bling champagne, which is owned by rapper Jay-Z and costs £660 a bottle in Aspers’ bars, is “the perfect fit for the casino”.

Mr Aspinall is says the competition is the sort of thing that sets the casino apart from others.

He said: “There’s nowhere else in England that you can get this sort of offer. We are different and like to look after our customers.”

The 56-year-old self-made millionaire describes his desire to innovate as “a constant challenge”.

“We’re constantly trying to be inventive and creative and not to be the normal, boring, dull casino that we think our competitors are,” he said. “The average attendance for a UK casino is 200 or 300 people a day. We average 4,000 people a day.”

These gamers are taken care of by a small army of 600 full-time staff (around half of whom are from the borough) but it’s no surprise that the biggest gambling venue in the UK draws the biggest crowds.

What is interesting is how Aspers has managed to attract a different crowd to the gaming tables.

“The average attendance of women in casinos is about two or three per cent,” Mr Aspinall said. “We average about 38pc.”

He attributes Aspers Stratford’s success with this hard-to-reach market to its atmosphere.

“It’s a lot more relaxed, it’s a lot more entertaining. We work very, very hard to ensure that, and I think we’re the only casino in England that does anything like that,” he said.

The champagne giveaway shows how far the Stratford casino has come since 2014, when an assault lead to the venue’s alcohol licence being temporarily revoked.

Mr Aspinall brands these past issues “a problem of our success.”

He said: “We had so many people coming and inevitably that attracted some of the wrong types, and I don’t think we were prepared at that time.”

“We learnt our lesson and we’re much stricter now on the type of people we let in and we have much tighter controls inside the property.

“I think the property’s better for it and the community is better for it.”

The community’s wallet has certainly seemed to have benefitted from the casino’s presence, with £500,000 donated to charity through the Aspers Good Causes Fund to date.

To find out more about the Ace of Spades promotion, visit aspersstratford.co.uk

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