There is yet another gambling firm that is looking to help run the first super casino in Southampton. The Southampton City Council is expected to start discussing which operator it will prefer to have at the same, which is considered to be the vital component of the multi-million pound redevelopment of the Royal Pier area. The operator of the Gorsvenor casinos, Rank Group, has recently joined forces with Aspers to put the duo’s hat in the ring with interest to run the new site. In addition, the Gentings Group has also expressed its interest with putting in a bid.
The council is among seven other authorities that have been granted a license to run a super casino by the latest Labour Government. This granted license provides operators with the ability to build casinos that can house 150 different slot machines with jackpots of no greater than £4,000 as well as 30 poker and blackjack tables.
The chiefs of the city council feel that the casino is going to be the catalyst for the redevelopment of the Royal Pier, which is expected to turn £450 million of plans into a resort that features luxury flats, restaurants, an indoor area and a variety of hotels.
The council will assess the bids it received this year in the coming days, but the actual process of picking the preferred operator of the casino could take up to 18 months as the licensing committee needs to make its decision along with an advisory panel with experts.
Known for having given the UK its first super casino in London just last year, Aspers has already been in contact with the city council with regard to assisting with running the new site in Southampton. Now, though, it has been counted among the competition along with its major rival, Rank Group.
Currently, the Rank Group runs 37 Grosvenor casinos throughout the country, which includes a Southampton-based LeisureWorld complex. It also operates the Mecca Bingo and recently purchased all 23 Gala Casinos for £179 million.
A spokesman of the Rank Group confirmed that the group was interested but did not want to comment any further because the days were still early.
The operator of the Genting Club Terminus Terrance, which is also located in Southampton, expressed interest in a bid as well. A spokesperson said the group is considering the opportunity but cannot comment any further at this time.