Hope that casino reopening will be catalyst

4:25 pm on 27 May 2011

Christchurch Casino hopes that its reopening will spark a rejuvenation of the central city areas around it.

The Casino had been closed since the earthquake on 22 February and 500 employees were asked to take leave without pay or redundancy.

It reopened on Thursday night with 336 employees back in work.

Chief executive Brett Anderson says the lack of tourists and major hotels nearby will be a challenge.

But he hopes the return of the casino will be a sign to tourists and others that Christchurch is back in business.

Mr Anderson also hopes the casino can act as a catalyst to attract customers to nearby cafes, shops and restaurants.