New Westfield casino ‘will bring jobs and money’ to Newham

Newham residents will benefit from today’s opening of Aspers Casino at Westfield Stratford City, according to bosses.

The casino, which opened its doors for the first time since winning the licence awarded by Newham Council will pay the authority �1million every year for the privilege.

Aspers has also pledged to recruit mainly within the borough, with two thirds of those working at the complex hired from the surrounding area.

Bosses also moved to calm fears that the presence of the casino could risk putting vulnerable people at risk of gambling addiction by inviting church leaders and charities to meetings hosted by its own Community Action for Responsible Gaming (CARG).

Richard Noble, Aspers chief operating officer, said he wanted Stratford to rival the West End.

He said: “We made a commitment as part of a our licence to have 85 per cent of the jobs go to Newham people.

“Our motto from day one is to say to ourselves we want to be part of that community.

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“It’s all about people coming from all around to visit this part of London.”

Rev David Richards, vicar at St John’s Church in Stratford, is involved with a prayer room at Westfield. He gave a cautious welcome to the casino: “My hope is if there has got to be a casino somewhere then Westfield is the best place to have it. At least it will be well run and it will be in an environment that is well controlled.”

For more on this, buy next week’s Newham Recorder, out on Wednesday, December 7.