Three years after closing it down, Aspers is looking to reopen its £13 million casino in Wind Street, Swansea.
The company enjoyed a five-year run in Swansea before the Apsers management team declared the venue, which was Wales’ largest casino at the time, commercially unviable in the long-term and closed for business at midnight on August 30, 2015. More than 100 people lost their jobs as a direct result of the closure.
When the casino opened, Aspers hoped it would attract 10,000 people a week through its doors and see £4.5 million spent on gambling within its first year of trading. However, the economic downturn hit some parts of Wales hard and Aspers Swansea’s trading figures were poor at best.
Earlier this week, an article in the South Wales Evening Post revealed that bosses at Aspers are looking into reopening the casino, citing the fact the “economic landscape is more positive.” A spokesman for Aspers confirmed these plans.
“We can confirm we are considering re-opening our Swansea operation in Wind Street. We were very sad to close Aspers Swansea in 2012 and deliberately retained our two operating licenses with a view to future opportunities in the city should the local trading environment improve.
“Since 2012, Aspers has become the fastest growing casino company in the UK and has enjoyed phenomenal success with our 'super casino' in Stratford, London, as well as also successfully opening another large licence venue in Milton Keynes.
“We now feel that the economic landscape is much more positive, especially in South Wales, and are considering re-opening in Swansea with a smaller operation to cater for the local market. Internal feasibility studies are on-going and an announcement will be made in due course.”
The announcement was welcomed by the chief executive of the Swansea Business Improvement District, Russell Greenslade, who said:
“It's positive news that Aspers are considering re-opening in Swansea city centre in their old Wind Street premises. The recent announcements of the proposed exciting regeneration plans for the city centre and the recent recruitment of new businesses at Coastal Group's Castle Quarter development has helped raise the profile of the city centre to operators such as Aspers, the fastest growing casino company in the UK.
“It's also great to hear that another astute commercial operator views our area's particular economic landscape being much more positive, triggering investment improving the economy and vibrancy of the city centre.”
Currently, Swansea, the home of poker star Roberto Romanello, only has a single casino, one operated by the Grosvenor chain. Cardiff, an hour’s drive away, is the home to a Grosvenor, Les Croupiers and Rainbow casino operation, and has a vibrant poker scene.
Lead image courtesy of the South Wales Evening Post