t is now recruiting 160 casino and hospitality staff to work in the 2,000 capacity building. Last week, the YEP was given a sneak preview of the Alea casino near the Royal Armouries. The firm which runs it says it will "change the face of gaming" in the city.
Bosses Maria Slater and Adam Roberts already run Alea casinos in Manchester, Glasgow, Nottingham and Leicester Square, London. Slater said: "The old image of a traditional casino revolves around the seasoned gamer sitting at a table and being given free drinks and not very good quality food as he plays. We wanted to change that and came up with Alea concept”.
She added: "We want to attract people who wouldn't normally think of going to a casino for a night out. That is why we are offering very good quality food and drink in a glamorous but welcoming atmosphere. And for existing gamers, they can still just come in and get on with it in their own comfort zone."
The ground floor entrance leads on to the first gaming floor with four tables and a Greek restaurant. Two huge escalators take customers up into the main gaming hall which will house 17 tables offering roulette, blackjack, poker and punto bano.
Suspended from the seven meter high ceiling are huge chandeliers and it has a two bars - one circular - and a restaurant. Roberts said: "We are trying to put a little theatre into a night out. People-watching is a main theme as not everybody will want to come in and gamble”, and added: “So there are plenty of places to sit and have a drink, or something to eat and watch what is happening on the tables."
He said they aimed to have 60,000 members and around 6,000 visitors a week. Membership will be free and Alea will stay open to 6am. In March 2007 plans for a new Las Vegas-style “supercasino” in Leeds and 16 other towns and cities were rejected by the House of Lords.