Casino bosses'pledge to town

By Dave GooderhamBOSSES behind a plan for Suffolk's first casino have reassured residents of a historic market town that they will not become neighbours to a Las Vegas-style facility.

By Dave Gooderham

BOSSES behind a plan for Suffolk's first casino have reassured residents of a historic market town that they will not become neighbours to a Las Vegas-style facility.

With a change in gaming laws imminent, a plan has been unveiled for a high-class casino in the grounds of Swynford Paddocks Hotel, near Newmarket.

But far from being the glitz and glamour associated with typical casinos, bosses at Team Event Management have outlined a more discreet establishment.


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Managing director, Paul Smith, said: "It is not going to be a Blackpool number-cruncher or something you would see in Las Vegas. Ours will be a prestigious casino - the kind you would see in a James Bond film.

"Newmarket is an gambling town and its affluence lends itself to the surroundings of a casino. It is important we get the backing of the community to make sure no-one is surprised when the application goes in."

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Similar facilities have also been muted in Mildenhall and Felixstowe, but Mr Smith said he was confident the Newmarket casino would prove attractive.

"We feel the introduction of a high-class casino would ensure visitors bring their investment to the local economy rather than spending their money elsewhere," he added.

"We are committed to providing the ultimate in entertainment and relaxation facilities for the many horseracing fans that visit the area, as well as the local population."

Consultations about the casino are now being held with interested parties, including West Suffolk MP Richard Spring, who has backed the plans.

The casino is part of an ambitious series of development plans by Newmarket-based Team Group, including a £1.5 million state-of-the-art health and leisure complex.

Ancient Arabic therapies, a crystal steam room and a salt grotto are all planned for the complex on the hotel's grounds in Six Mile Bottom, which is expected to provide almost 20 new jobs.

The club proposal has been backed by champion jockey Frankie Dettori and Channel 4 racing pundit Derek Thompson, who have enrolled as the first members of the leisure facility.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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