Gambling. It’s A Mug’s Game, But Only When You’re At The Gate.


There’s nothing big and clever about gambling. Especially when it involves visiting The Gate in Newcastle. Unless you win, of course. So it was with some trepidation that I headed to The Gate to pass a couple hours while i waited for my other half to finish work nearby.

And more specifically, I headed to Aspers Casino. Aspers itself takes up 45,000 square feet of prime Newcastle retails space and offers American Roulette, Blackjack, Three card poker, Punto Banco and Wheel of Fortune over its three floors. They were also one of the first regional casinos to introduce Dice – a new game that apparently has people crowding around it every night of the week. I didn’t see it myself – but that might be because there were so many people crowding around it.

However, Aspers bills itself as somewhere that offers “more than just gaming”. They claim to be “the place to socialise, enjoy a leisurely drink or a meal with friends or even just check out the latest sporting events on large plasma screens”. Best of all, they claim that “the fun never stops at Aspers”.

Sounds promising? Could this be the saviour of The Gate?


Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s just because it’s part of the antiseptic, soulsucking void that is The Gate. Maybe casinos have changed since I used to go in to pick up free sandwiches. Or maybe I’ve been spoiled by the times I’ve been to Vegas and had, like, fun. But Aspers did nothing for me.

I should have stayed in and played a few games of poker at home instead, in the comfort of my own pants. There’d have been more of an atmosphere, I might not have lost so much cash, I wouldn’t have gotten soaked walking there, and I could have put Monster Munch in my sandwiches without being asked to leave.

But best of all, I wouldn’t have been at The Gate.

By Barry Bell on March 4, 2012

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