Licence victory as casino for Bath moves step closer
Controversial plans for Bath’s first casino have moved a step closer.
Bath and North East Somerset Council has awarded the small casino licence to Global Gaming Ventures Ltd for their proposals at the former Sawclose Clinic and Gala Bingo Hall, Sawclose.
The scheme, which is now subject to planning permission, is expected to create 80 full-time casino jobs and 120 construction jobs with a minimum of 13 apprentices.
The casino operator will be Groupe Partouche, Europe's largest casino group, and the project will be developed by Deeley Freed Estates Ltd.
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The winning bid included a £250,000 one-off payment to the council and a minimum £15,000 per month once the casino opens.
The development also includes the potential for a four-star boutique hotel with a minimum of 65 rooms, also subject to planning permission.
Groupe Partouche has said safeguards will be put in place to protect casino visitors from gambling to excess. There will also be qualified door staff, and CCTV.
Councillor Gerry Curran (Lib-Dem, Twerton), chairman of the licensing committee, said: “The committee considered a range of criteria when awarding the licence, including protection, monitoring and safeguards.
“Each proposal was assessed by the committee and our expert advisors, against an evaluation framework, to determine which would be likely to bring most benefit Bath and North East Somerset.”
Councillor Nathan Hartley (Lib-Dem, Peasedown), Deputy Leader of Council, said, “This is a positive step forward towards developing one of the key sites in Bath city centre. There are a range of wider benefits that Bath & North East Somerset Council has secured for local people through the licence bid process including new jobs and a regular, steady contribution to the local taxpayer’s purse. Casinos already operate successfully and responsibly in other parts of the West of England, including three in Bristol. I am confident that similar success can be repeated here.”
The casino is due to be open by the end of 2014.