Simon Thomas – Chairman: The common theme to the whole of the history so far is, every generation or so, tastes change.
And the Hippodrome being in such a phenomenal location has been adapted to whatever the latest craze or taste is. As far as locations go it is stunning. As far as locations for an international-style casino go, there’s nothing like it in the whole of the UK.
Jimmy Thomas – President: We don’t want the hippodrome to be the ‘Talk of The Town’. We want it to be the talk of the land. We can buy the best real estate in London. We can build the best building in London. We can bring in the best decorators and the best designers – which we’ve done – and make it the most beautiful building in London. But we also know that when we open we’re only as good as the people that run it.
You are that people. And we depend on you. And between us we will turn it into one of the best casinos in the world.
Simon Thomas: I mentioned at the start that we are a family and family background, family values, are all really important to us. I am Simon. I’m nothing else. Anybody who wants to come and talk to me, ask me questions, they’re very welcome at any stage.
But equally you guys know the business and I need to learn from you all. And we’re going to have an awful lot of fun pushing the casino market, which is a little bit boring at the moment.
Peter McNally – Managing Director: There’s only one boss. And that’s not Simon Thomas. And it’s not Jimmy Thomas. And it’s certainly not me.
That’s the customer. Make our customers feel important – because they are.
Our dream is to make the Hippodrome a world-class casino. And with your help that’s exactly, exactly what we’re going to do. Because you all possess that little extra that we’re looking for to make our customers welcome, make them feel at home, to deliver that little bit extra.
Nick Malone – Venue Director: Whether you’re trainees or one of the many experienced gaming staff here, I want you to think of the enormous amount of time, money, effort, sweat, tears, and frustration that’s gone into getting us to where we are today.
Take the time to be pleasant, understanding, and to go the extra yard.
If you do all those things, Number one, we can’t ask any more of you. But Number two; the customer will come back because they’ll want to come back.
Most of all we would like you to enjoy yourselves.
We need to to define casino entertainment in London and of any casino, any operation in this country, we are uniquely to placed to do it.
Simon Thomas: The physical site is very important, clearly, but it’s the canvas. What are more important are the people who will give it the life, the energy, the atmosphere. And we have sought the best in breed quite frankly in gaming, cabaret, hospitality, marketing, and have come up with an amazing group of talented and effective people.
George Constantinou – Head of Online Gaming: The thing that’s going to make the (web) site really special is we plan to integrate a level of service that lots of other sites online just can’t offer because they don’t have the land-based opportunities that we do.
The directors and the owners are keen to integrate the online business into the offline casino – which is huge for us. It is something unique. It is something special.
Jonathan Segal – CEO The One Group: I felt as soon as I heard this nut Simon Thomas was going to do here that this was something I really wanted to be a part of. This was a phoenix arising. This was a re-creation. This was bringing the past into the present and modernising it.
The reality as we know is that there are many casinos in London – in exactly the same way as there are many restaurants in London and there are many hotels in London.
So the difference is very little to do with the structure and a hundred percent to do with how we all operate as a team, how we deliver the service, how we deliver the experience.
Jon Yantin – Director of Operations The One Group: Obviously we’re operating 24 hours. There’s a full 24 hour liquor license and there’s a 24 hour food offer – which is something quite astounding in the heart of Leicester Square.
Simon Thomas: What we’re doing is not going to be easy. It’s not been easy from the start. It’s been a challenge the whole way through.
But what we’re doing is creating something special. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be rewarding. And together we’re going to be able to create something that is going to be talked about for years to come.
I look forward to working with you and thank you for being here.