With a new casino opening in Milton Keynes, residents could be forgiven for thinking that problem gambling would scale new heights. The Aspers Casino at Xscape, though, has pledged to help fight gambling addictions with GBP 175,000 a year being given to Milton Keynes council to help vulnerable addicts on their road to recovery. This latest piece of UK gambling laws is intended to help the non-gambling public accept the new casino in Milton Keynes.
Chief Executive Richard Noble believes some of this is down to the casinos policy, with staff trained to exclude customers who don’t appear to be enjoying their gambling. He added: We have made a significant commitment to make sure that the people of Milton Keynes enjoy our facilities. We have found that the average spend at one of our casinos is between L15-30 per night. But that is not to say that there isn’t a small number who may have problems.
But last year we were named Socially Responsible Operator of the Year at the international gaming awards, and we take our responsibilities very seriously. We have set up a Community Action for Responsible Gaming (CARG) group that will offer education to people with gambling issues.”
With UK gambling laws being loosened in recent times, casinos are voluntarily entering into these agreements in order to foster a positive relationship with the local community. As the casino in Milton Keynes will be providing 250 new jobs to the area – of which 43% had previously been unemployed – there is no doubt that it will have a positive effect on the local area.
It remains to be seen how popular it will be though, especially considering the popularity of online casinos in the UK. The 36,500 square feet casino will be hoping its 108 slots, 22 gaming tables and 150 seat poker room will attract gamers, though.