CEO and Chairman
Simon is the seventh generation of his family to work in the leisure industry. With over 17 years Gaming Certification, he was the youngest ever President of the British Amusement Catering Trade Association and is currently a Director of several companies in the gaming and entertainment industry. He was also Managing Director of Thomas Estates Ltd which operated many venues including Beacon Bingo in Cricklewood, the largest and most successful Bingo club in the country.
What do you do?
I can honestly say I have been involved in everything to do with the transformation of this amazing building into an incredible West End venue, from the licences, local and national gaming policies, to the wallpaper and light fittings. I love being involved in bringing my vision to completion.
What will you feel when the doors open for the first time to members of the public?
Elated and excited. This has been a seven year journey with massive challenges. To see the Hippodrome open in its full majesty will make it all worthwhile and I cannot wait to see the customer reaction.
What has been your highest point so far?
Getting past all the hurdles and showing we can do it! But many specific moments stick out and include, the moment we were told we had won our gaming license, the moment when the internal scaffolding started coming down and we could see the completely decorated minstrels gallery from the concrete floor for the first time, seeing the lights on on the outside for the first time, getting the council to move Charing Cross Road a metre to make the pavement at our main entrance wider, the reaction on visitors faces when they walk into the main atrium and go ‘Wow’…and many others…
Why will the Hippodrome will be different from any other Casino?
The Hippodrome has at its heart a stunning Grade 2 listed Victorian theatre known and loved 60% of Londoners alone. It is a London Landmark and icon. The renovations have brought it back to its majestic glory. But also, very importantly, I honestly believe we have the best management team and support staff on any casino in the country, if not the world. What are you most proud of? Developing a team of people who together were able to face all the challenges of the project and be able to overcome them. This has not been a simple project, but the results show what hard work and innovation has been employed to realise an incredible outcome.
What’s your favourite game to play at The Hippodrome Casino?
Roulette, with its volatility and excitement.