Wolverhampton Casino Back On

Posted on July 13th, 2012

Well, they seem to be spreading like wildfire, these landbased casinos. We reported on plans for a Leeds casino at Elland Road not that long ago, and it seems that Wolverhampton is also close to getting one.

The anticipated casino in Wolverhampton, creating hundreds of jobs, has been given the green light as councillors agreed to go forward with a formal application procedure.

Wolverhampton Racecourse today confirmed it was intending to apply to open the UK’s first ever “racino” creating nearly 300 jobs.

Wolverhampton City Council has had the remit to issue a casino licence with cash winnings up to £4,000 since 2008 but the project has been stuck in the mud.

Teflon Tony and Gordo gave the go ahead for 16 new casinos nationally and the Wolves one will be permitted to have 80 slots. Originally, 5 operators were in the running but Arena Leisure, which owns the racecourse, was the only one to come up with detailed plans.

The formal application process will kick off in August and was approved recently at a meeting of the full council.

Leader of the council Roger Lawrence said: “Jobs and the regeneration benefits are part of the criteria in the application process. They are part of what we have to balance in making a decision.

“These sorts of ventures create jobs and if we look at one that has opened in Newham in London, they can have a positive regenerative impact. It has taken a long time to get to this stage because the guidance was slow in coming to us. We had to make sure we avoided any legal challenges.”

The newly-renovated Low Level Station was in the running  for a £6 million casino but will instead be a banqueting hall.

Last year Arena was given another 3 years to construct a £23m add-on to the racecourse as it waited for the casino licence to be approved.

The company was bought at the beginning of the year by the squillionaire Reuben brothers in a £167m deal.

The city council had to look at its its gambling policy before it could allow a casino to open up in the area.

Bosses had originally hoped for a 2009 start date. Only 3 years delay!

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