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Bath's Partouche-Operated Casino Edges Closer to Completion

Artists impression of the SawClose casino

Residents of Bath, Somerset could be enjoying a new casino sooner than they think after the developers were granted new premises licences for a restaurant and casino. The £14 million SawClose scheme had appeared to stall, but the granting of the aforementioned licences have given the project the green light.

The casino, which is to be run by Groupe Partouche SA and Global Gaming Venures Limited, has a “small” casino licence and is able to operate from 11:00am until 11:30pm Monday through Saturday and 11:00am until 11:00pm on a Sunday. Recorded music and alcohol is allowed to be sold during the casino's opening hours.

Avon and Somerset Police added stated that the casino must display signs instructing customers to exit the building quietly, have a CCTV system in operation and train staff to adhere to the Challenge 21 scheme.

Andrew Maltby, director of property developers Deeley Freed who have the planning permission to build a casino, restaurant and hotel complex on the 0.7 acre site, said to the Bath Chronicle:

“I'm delighted, we have been at this for seven years so it's nice to get to the end.”

Several building are to be demolished to make way for the new casino complex, which should see work start in early 2015. Gala Bingo and The Market bar have already closed in anticipation of the building work starting.

Operators Still Interested in Developing Middlesbrough's Large Casino

Plans for a £32 million casino and leisure complex in Middlesbrough could be back on track after developer Jomast put forward a three-phase development programme.

Jomast was awarded one of eight large UK casino licenses, but work stalled on its North East venture when the economy nosedived into recession. Jomast have ambitious plans for the site, including a hotel, banqueting facilities, a multi-story car park and a state-of-the-art casino.

The first phase of the development was pencilled in for the first quarter of 2013, but is yet to get off the ground. A report to Middlesbrough Council's Executive revealed that of the 16 local authorities granted casino licences in 2008, only two casinos have been built and one is under construction.

The other 13, including Middlesbrough, have not even reached the development stage.

Part of the report states: “Casino and hotel development across the country have proved difficult and Middlesbrough has proved no exception to that, which is the reason why the development has not progressed as quickly as anticipated. However, with the upturn in the wider economy, development in Middlesbrough is improving across a number of sectors, including the hotel market, as proved with the development of the Holiday Inn Express. Unfortunately the casino market is not showing the same appetite for development, but it is anticipated that as the economy continues to grow this will change accordingly.”

Although the scheme looked dead in the water, Jomast wants to press ahad with the development in three phases. It has already secured a deal with Premier Inn to deliver Phase 1 which would see an 83-room hotel built. Once Phase 1 is approved and completed, Jomast will reach out to prospective investors and potential occupiers.

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