THAT WAS THE WEEKEND THAT WAS: Swindon take a gamble with casino venture

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The Independent Online
Given the club's past, unhappy links with the world of gambling, you might have thought that Swindon would have been particularly careful about whom they associate with in financial matters.

It may come as a surprise, then, to learn that the club with renewed Premiership ambitions is planning to become the first football club in Europe to have a casino in their stadium.

Announcing a partnership with Grosvenor Casinos, who believe the County Ground facilities are ideal for their purpose, the Swindon director Rikki Hunt said: "This initiative is all part of the club's aim to be at the forefront of commercial thinking in football. We want to be more self- reliant and the cash injection we will receive will help us develop the club."

"Robins are in the money," said the headline over the item in this weekend's informative Nationwide Bulletin. As I recall, the club was "in the money" after taking out "insurance" bets on an FA Cup tie at Newcastle in 1988, to the considerable displeasure of Lancaster Gate.

However, for "have-nots" desperate to join the ranks of the "haves", any source of legitimate new income is to be welcomed. Swindon are clearly thick-skinned enough to be unworried by such jokes as they might attract.

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