Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Aspers to run Southampton large casino

Royal Pier Waterfront illustration Image copyright Royal Pier Waterfront
Image caption The Royal Pier Waterfront development will include a large casino, up to 50 shops, a hotel and 730 apartments

The operator of a planned large casino on Southampton's redeveloped waterfront has been announced.

Aspers, which has large casinos in east London and Milton Keynes, has been picked to run the facility at the £450m Royal Pier Waterfront, which is due to open in 2021.

Other bids were received from GGV, Grosvenor and Kymeira.

The casino was granted a licence by the government for up to 150 slot machines and 30 blackjack and poker tables.

It is the last of eight large casino licences to be issued in the UK, excluding Northern Ireland.

Matt Tucker, chairman of Southampton City Council's licensing committee, said it had been the "largest and most complex competition" for this type of licence, enabling the authority to "negotiate the best deal for the city".

"The regeneration of the waterfront at Royal Pier and Mayflower Park has been a longstanding aspiration for the city.

"The casino will play a big part in making the redevelopment happen."

Mr Tucker said the casino would create a minimum of 180 new jobs and £100,000 would be given to the council on the granting of the licence, with a further £150,000 on opening.

The authority will receive at least 2% of the gross gaming revenues from the casino and the Aspers will pay £50,000 a year towards ongoing problem gambling initiatives.

The city's ferry terminals are to be moved from the Town Quay to the Eastern Docks to make way for the new development.

It will also include 730 apartments, restaurants, up to 50 shops and a 250-bed hotel.

The large casino licences have been granted for facilities with a minimum customer area of 1,000 sq m and up to 150 slot machines with maximum jackpot of £4,000.

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