Westfield Stratford City gets the nod in casino race

A Las Vegas-style casino is on its way to Westfield’s Stratford City development, after councillors today chose the plan over two rival bids.

Aspers have won the right to open a so-called “large casino” in the central arcade of the �1.45 billion complex, which will open its doors in September.

The 65,000 sq ft casino will be the first of its kind in the UK and create up to 440 new jobs, bosses say.

Members of Newham Council’s licensing committee selected the scheme over competing proposals for sites at Silvertown Quays and Gallions Reach.

Aspers chairman Damian Aspinall said: “We are delighted that, after a detailed and comprehensive assessment, Newham’s licensing committee has recognised that our bid delivers the best operator in the best location within the best development.

“We now look forward to turning our dream into reality over the coming months.”

The firm has promised the new casino will include a restaurant and bar and live entertainment, in addition to poker, sports betting and bingo.

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Licensing committee chairman Ian Corbett said: “The committee considered carefully the merits of each application and followed a rigorous selection process, which was carried out in strict adherence to the guidelines.

“Each proposal was looked at and assessed against the criteria and this has enabled us to reach a final decision.”

The 2005 Gambling Act defines a “large casino” as a facility with more than 10,000 sq ft of floor space and up to 150 slot machines, with a maximum jackpot of �4,000.

Newham has had permission for such a such a development since 2007, when the Department for Culture, Media and Sport identified it as a “priority destination”.

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