Town split over casino

NEWS that Felixstowe could have a casino has split the town – with seemingly just as many people for it as there are against the idea.Mother and daughter, Gillian and Luisa Fletcher, who have organised a petition in support of the development, are a perfect example of those who would love to see the scheme approved by planners.

NEWS that Felixstowe could have a casino has split the town – with seemingly just as many people for it as there are against the idea.

Mother and daughter, Gillian and Luisa Fletcher, who have organised a petition in support of the development, are a perfect example of those who would love to see the scheme approved by planners.

They say bingo is not just for the older generation, but young people too, and all those in between, and by ordinary people, not drunken hooligans, and believe a casino would attract similar customers.

"There are people playing bingo in Felixstowe aged from 18 to 85. I love playing – not every young person in Felixstowe wants to go down the seafront and get drunk," said Luisa, 23.


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"Felixstowe needs different things for people to do. The bingo hall gives people of all ages a lot of pleasure, including a lot of elderly."

Gillian, who runs the Iddlesleigh Guest House in Constable Road, said: "Elderly people love to go to the bingo to have a chat, meeting their friends and have a laugh – what would those people do without that? They would be on their own."

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More than 375 people have signed the petition of support.

"We only collected for an hour and it was very last minute – I just wonder how many more would have signed it if we had had longer," said Gillian.

"I think it is terrible what people who are against the casino have been saying – some of it totally untrue and it has been blown out of all proportion.

"It will be a family development and will benefit the whole community. The casino is only one part, but there will also be a restaurant for families to enjoy, a gym which will appeal to younger people, a cinema.

"I run a guest house, but I am not against the idea of a hotel. The development could bring even more people to the town to stay and I might even benefit."

Luisa believed the project would give Felixstowe a tourism boost by attracting more visitors, especially those who might stay the night to use the casino and then shop or visit other attractions before returning home.

"I have been absolutely infuriated by some of the comments made by those against this project – and they have clearly never been to a casino," she said.

"They talk about kids being enticed into gambling, people getting drunk and vandalising, but that is not how people act in a casino at all. People would not be allowed in under 18 – so there will be no kids – and they would be thrown out if they were drunk. It is a completely different clientele."

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