Second Casino Fails as Ladbrokes Closes Paddington Casino

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Hot on the heels of the St James’s Street London Casino being placed into administration following some multi-million losses, another London Casino has closed its doors.

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This time it is the Ladbrokes owned Casino and Sport Bar in Paddington. Ladbrokes has closed it down with the loss of 100 jobs and has sold the casino licence to Quek Leng Chan, the owner of the Thistle and Guoman hotel group.

Ladbrokes opened the Casino and Sport Bar in 2006. At the time this formed part of their strategy to open a chain of casinos following a government announcement that seventeen new casino licenses would be made available. As we now know, the government, making another u-turn, failed to honour its pledge.

Notwithstanding that setback, Ladbrokes turned it into an exiting venue, offering a full range of casino games alongside attractive bars and restaurants. It is built as an annex to the Paddington Hilton hotel, and can be accessed from external doors and from the hotel foyer. Despite the location, it failed to take off as planned, and proved impossible to run at a profit.

The cost of setting up the Casino and Sport Bar was £5million and it was done in partnership with Alan Goodenough who had a 65% share. Goodenough’s share was bought out by Ladbrokes in 2007 for £11 million. This is much higher than it’s currently estimated value.

The new owner bought his first casino, the Clermont Mayfair Club, from Rank for £31million. Subsequently this has spawned a group of Clermont casinos across the UK and Quek Leng Chan’s business Clermont Leisure now owns 28% of Rank.

This could mark the end of Ladbrokes foray into the live casino business whilst they continue to develop their sports book and online casino. Their online casino still offers a Live Dealer Casino option with a large range of available games.

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