Sam Tai, one of Blackpool’s four casinos, has been forced to close its doors due to a lack of trade, dealing a major blow to the seaside town and seeing 50 people lose their jobs.
It was only in June 2014 that UK & Ireland PokerNews reported that Blackpool, often dubbed the Las Vegas of the United Kingdom, was hopeful of securing a licence for a so-called “super casino.” Lord McNally of Blackpool was arguing the coastal town’s case in the House of Lords, claiming Blackpool needed a resort-type casino in order to boost its flagging economy. If this recent closure is anything to go by, those plans could set to be scrapped.
The Sam Tai, formerly known as the Paris Casino, was owned and operated by Liverpool-based State Casino and had recently invested £70,000 renovating the gaming floor and bar area. That investment failed to attract new customers and the decision made to cease trading on May 2, 2015.
“It is with deepest regret Sam Tai Blackpool will close its doors and cease trading on Saturday. The current owners took over the failing business in January of 2014. The new management team was able to increase income and attendance as well as reduce overheads but not to the extent needed to make the business profitable,” said Dov Haase the casino’s General Manager. “All 50 staff are to lose their positions. They were given 30 days notice and I am pleased to say that most have now found alternative employment. I would personally like to thank our customers who came to this lovely, friendly casino and I wish all the staff success in their new jobs.”
The casino's trade was hit by the flagging fortunes of the nearby Blackpool FC. The football club's fall from grace has been spectacular and a lack of footfall at Bloomfield Road has had a major knock-on effect on the casino's business, particularly on match days where many special food and drinks offers were made available.
This closure means Blackpool now has three casinos, namely Coral Island, a Genting run property and the Grosvenor G Casino, the latter being the home to the ever-popular Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT).