Gaming academy to train future croupiers

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The Independent Online

Students will be able to take courses in roulette, blackjack and poker when the UK's first gaming academy opens next month.

Backed by funding from the Government and Europe, Blackpool and the Fylde College has developed the academy to train casino staff. The college has built a training casino on site.

Fully accredited by City and Guilds, courses from GCSE to foundation degree level will be available to students over 18, who can train as "super croupiers" and coin slot machine engineers, as well as for a range of other key skills. The project aims to take advantage of the expanding gambling industry in the UK after the Government's decision to reform gambling laws.

Colleen McLaughlin, the gaming academy's manager, said: "The aim ... is to give the very best training in all aspects of casino work. We want our academy to be a one-stop shop with training for all gaming industry requirements under one roof."

The project has received support from Gala Casinos. Chris Clarke, the company's regional operational director, said: "We are investing in the development of our staff, and recruiting more."

The gaming academy will open on 22 February. It has places for about 350 students.