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from The Essential Paradise, doc. 5.09

The Somerset Casino is a gaming arcade and events hall in the British Paradise Islands, as featured in the Two Paradises fiction/fantasy realm devised by author Jonnie Comet.

Location and arrangement Edit

The building stands on what is now known as Casino Circus, at the eastern end of Queensway, the high street of Lower (Old) Somerset, in Eden Island. Adjacent is a secondary and service entrance to the mainland portion of the Cavaliere family's Camelot estate, which borders the back wall of the building.

Across Casino Circus are located the Somerset music academy and the festival hall, both institutions well-supported by Sir David Holloway and Lord Paradise.

Once a real seamen’s tavern from the 1940s, as restored by Lord Paradise in 1993 the Somerset Casino serves as a teens’ recreational centre, having a ground floor full of traditional pinball and electronic video games and a milkbar where soft drinks, ice cream and snack foods are served. The first floor includes a banquetting room with stage for live music (and, when open, where alcoholic drinks are often served to those under age 15). Half the first floor and much of the second is given over to accommodation facilities for visitors to Camelot estate, typically business guests or whole families preferring to stay independently from the amenities of the estate's main island.

Architecture Edit

As remodelled the stucco-over-concrete-block building is made to look somewhat like a 16th-C fortified town building or rural castle; in fact part of an adjacent creek is directed round the walls like a vestigial moat. A central tower comprises a third-floor dressing room, fourth-floor round bedchamber and fifth-floor conical attic.

A circular lift within the central tower descends to a depot for the Camelot estate's secret underground.

Appearances in stories Edit

The casino arcade turns up frequently as a popular site for the tallies (scoring settlements) of Strategy games. A window down a back corridor on the ground floor serves as a teller's booth where players may be assigned money and playing credentials. This is often staffed by an unnamed, ambiguously-aged woman in a black headdress or scarf who betrays little if any social graces or pleasantries. The teller window, the cashier, and the gaming floor's long snacks tables appear in numerous story arcs, especially in All In The Game.

Within both Paradise One and Paradise Two, the first-floor banquetting hall is the site of several large parties held or attended by the Cavaliere siblings, including Darby St Claire's 16th birthday, in Sweet Sixteen.

In Girls Will Be Girls, Lady Susie holds her gala doe party in the north-end guest suite, opposite the banquetting hall on the second floor (above the gaming hall). The suite is also the site of The Seduction of Laura and numerous other episodes, typically those featuring clandestine trysts.

In Serendipity, Lord Jonathan brings Gwendolyn Dahl to town via the secret underground, which has a stop under the casino arcade's tower, drives her home by way of his car which Camelot staff have brought to a small car park to the south side of the building.

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