Cards on the table: Bosses plan multi-million-pound Las Vegas-style casino

Monday 18th January 2021

But the panel is not expected to disclose the result of the landmark decision for nearly two weeks due to "confidentiality".

As previously reported, the council is one of just eight authorities in the country with the right to hand out a "large casino" licence in a scheme which could generate hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds worth of revenue for the city.

The preferred site for the casino is the Royal Pier Waterfront with both Grosvenor, who already operate a venue in West Quay Road, and Aspers declaring their interest in being part of what would be a £450 million development of the waterside complex.

Kymeira Casino Ltd and Genting Casinos UK Ltd, which already runs a venue in the former railway station at Terminus Terrace in the city, are also vying for the bid.

Global Gaming Ventures is the other operator to declare an interest, submitting two bids - one for the Royal Pier Waterfront site and another plan to build a casino as part of the new Watermark development at WestQuay.

Southampton City Council's licensing committee will this morning meet in private to thrash out a deal determining who is their preferred operator.

The licence would allow a firm to build a casino housing up to 150 slot machines with jackpots of up to £4,000, and up to 30 tables for blackjack and poker.

Regular casinos have a limit of 20 slot machines.

While casinos also allow gamblers to play classic games such as roulette, poker and slot machines, they also contain restaurants and bars.

Council licensing panel chairman Matt Tucker said that the decision made at the closed meeting will be announced in around two weeks to allow the authority to liaise with "relevant parties".

As previously reported, the redevelopment of Royal Pier is part of a wider, multi-million-pound scheme to regenerate the waterside area.

The plans, submitted by RPW (Southampton) Ltd, include 730 homes, 50 shops, bars and restaurants and 47,000sqm of office space and currently being considered by city council planners and a decision is due later this year.

The project would feature a four or five-star hotel and spa, an arts and culture 'hub' and car parking, involve the reclamation of land from the River Test, see Mayflower Park expanded and a new 130ft Spitfire statue installed to tower over the waterside.

In January the city council has already approved plans to move the current Red Funnel terminal to the Trafalgar Dock to free up a plot of land allowing space for the masterplan.

Work may now begin on the new terminal later this year, with the whole Royal Pier development potentially being built by 2023.

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