London’s Hippodrome Casino, considered the largest casino in the UK, isn’t the kind to tow the line of convention when it comes to promoting its business.
Apparently, it’s latest venture into the unorthodox resulted in its intention to hire dwarves (or little people for those sensitive to politically correctness) as bouncers in an attempt to “bring smiles to the faces of customers”.
The casino already did a trial of having people smaller than 4ft. 10 in. manning the casino’s entrance and the whole apparently went really well, well enough at least to convince the casino’s management to introduce the scheme full time. The Hippodrome is pretty serious about this, even going so far as to post an advert in the Metro daily last week where it expressed its intention to create “Britain’s smallest bouncers”.
Simon Thomas, CEO and chairman of the Hippodrome, defended the rather peculiar system, telling the Telegraph that the establishment’s history included a rich history of employing dwarves, even dating back to the early part of the last century when it opened as an indoor circus. “We had high-diving dwarfs who dived from the mistrals’ gallery 60-feet up into a water tank,” Thomas told the British daily. “So they are very much part of the history of the place.”
The casino understands that taking this step would inevitably open itself up to a lot of backlash, but Thomas was quick to point out that the Hippodrome has no intention to foster any form of discrimination within its premises. On the contrary, the move was made in large part to highlight the uniqueness of having little folks manning the entrance of a casino that attracts 35,000 people a week.
“They can handle people much better than having a human eclipse on the door as some of the clubs do in London,” he said. “Nobody is going to pick on someone who is below-average height. It’s not exactly a macho thing to do so it is a very good way of controlling the door.”
So the next time anybody ventures into the Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square, don’t be surprised by what you see who’s manning the entrance. The Hippodrome is taking this system pretty seriously, and from the looks of things, it’s far from a publicity stunt.
The casino saw that it worked during the trial run and so it’s putting in place a setup to make it a permanent thing because in the words of the casino’s CEO: “Nobody messes with a dwarf, so in a way they are very good doormen.”