Boris Johnson’s Official Opening of the Hippodrome Casino – transcript

Boris Johnson: This is a quite stunning venue isn’t it. You’ve got every conceivable attraction you could desire in a James Bond style casino. I salute you and I have no hesitation, compunction, reservation in declaring this wonderful new refurbished, revitalised, restored, rejuvenated Hippodrome open. Or even more open than it was at nine o’clock this morning. Thank you.

I think it’s stunning.I think they’ve obviously spent a bomb. And it looks very good.

And I think it’s going to attract high-rollers in tuxedos from around the planet appropriately draped with lovely companions hanging on their shoulders and whispering advice in their ears. And they’re going to unbelt, I hope, significant quantities of foreign currency into London.

Don’t forget that this rejuvenation of the Hippodrome is just part of what’s happening in this area.

Westminster Council’s been helping to do a lot to improve Leicester Square – (it has) been transformed.

Big investment is now coming in to hotels, refurbishments in the area – the M&M store, or whatever it was, opened the other day. A lot of money coming into this neighbourhood and I suppose the Hippodrome is part of that constellation of attractions.

In so far as this is going to bring high-rollers willing to spend large sums on the tables here at the Hippodrome, drive (and) continue to cement the 450 jobs that this has brought to London, It’s a good thing.

I think it’s very important to talk up success stories like this. And don’t forget this business will not only bring four hundred and fifty jobs but the tax they pay on the money they take on the tables is fifty percent.

That’s a lot of money going into the exchequer. This Hippodrome, whatever people’s ethical feelings may be about gambling, this institution will help to pay for schools and hospitals and roads.

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