Jimmy Thomas, co-founder of the Hippodrome Casino, dies at age 88

James 'Jimmy' Thomas, a legend of the gaming business, has passed away at the age of 88.

Saturday morning, the President and Co-Founder of the Hippodrome Casino in London passed away in his sleep following a brief illness.


Thomas was born in Loughborough in 1934, and his family had been involved in Britain's leisure and gaming industries for seven generations.



The industry pioneer built his first casino at the Hurst Hotel in Quorn, Leicestershire, in 1956, followed by establishments in Nottingham and Derby.


And little than a decade after launching his first casino, Thomas opened the La Ronde Casino & Cabaret Club in his hometown, which hosted some of the most well-known artists of the 1960s and 1970s.


However, the entrepreneur's most well-known endeavour did not occur until nearly half a century later. In 2012, Thomas and his son Simon launched the Hippodrome Casino in London's Leicester Square.


The property has inhabited the junction of Cranbourn Street and Charing Cross Road in London for 122 years, and because to Thomas' investment, it continues to be an iconic landmark.


Thomas received the Casino Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and was the first living individual to be inducted into the BACTA Wall of Fame.


In 2019, Thomas also got a Lifetime Achievement award at the British Casino Awards.


He leaves behind a son, Simon, and two daughters, Lisa and Carla, from his first wife, Alma, who died in 2008, as well as a second son, Jordan, from his second marriage, seven grandkids, and three step-grandchildren.


Simon Thomas, Executive Chairman of the Hippodrome, remarked, "My father's accomplishments spanned several lives and he was revered globally for his corporate leadership and pioneering vision.


“I had the privilege of his advice and guidance not only as a business partner but as a son. He was one of a kind, and will be greatly missed by his family, many friends and staff members.”

By fLEXI tEAM