BUSINESS

London casino owner irked; Bookie robber jailed; Hills launch campaign for grasses

TAGs: Ladbrokes, London Hippodrome, William Hill

hippodromeWestminster Council’s parking charges have drawn the ire of many with a casino business owner now joining the dissent. Simon Thomas is about to reopen the Hippodrome in Leicester Square after investing a considerable amount of money renovating two listed buildings right in the heart of London. He told the Evening Standard: “I have spent tens of millions of pounds on the project and am appalled at the insensitivity of the council now to businesses in the area. If I knew early on that the council would treat us this way, I would have reconsidered my decision to invest in Westminster.”

The project, which is estimated to have set back Thomas £30m, will include three floors of gambling, four bars, a theatre and restaurant. Did we also mention the rooftop gambling rooms where you can smoke, drink and gamble at the same time? This takes gamblin’ drinkin’ and carryin’ on to a new level.

A career criminal has been given six years at Her Majesty’s pleasure after fleecing a bookmaker. Gary McGuire robbed a branch of Ladbrokes in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire on May 24, 2010 using a mask. He threatened the cashier with a knife and stole £300. The thief admitted to assaulting the woman and forcing his way behind the counter to steal the money. Robberies at betting shops are very rare and almost always solved thanks to the excellent CCTV installed in most premises.

William Hill has launched a campaign with Crimestoppers to try and halt the number of robberies at its shops in North Liverpool. The campaign encourages members of the public to contact Crimestoppers anonymously to report crimes with rewards of up to £10,000 being offered by the Association of British Bookmakers.

Rob King, William Hill’s Security Intelligence Manager, added: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to get involved with Crimestoppers as our number one priority is to make our shops a safe environment for staff and customers. Reducing crime with the arrest of offenders is one way of doing this and Crimestoppers plays a really important part in making this happen. By working together we can do our bit to ensure that people who have information about criminal activity can pass this on anonymously, whether it is crime happening in a bookmakers or anywhere else in the community.”

To create awareness of the campaign, leaflets are being distributed and posters being put up in the local area to encourage informants to come forward.

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