50 jobs go as casino closes

The casino at Bloomfield Road.

The casino at Bloomfield Road.

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A Blackpool casino will close its doors on Saturday with the loss of 50 jobs after a last gasp bid to save the business failed.

The owners of the Sam Tai on Bloomfield Road (pictured above) had hoped to negotiate a recovery package for the venue but have now confirmed it will cease trading.

Previously the casino had operated as the Paris Casino which suffered from a string of setbacks including a huge fire which devastated its former premises in Station Road.

General manager Dov Haase said today: “It is with deepest regret Sam Tai Blackpool will close its doors and cease trading on Saturday.

“The current owners took over the failing business in January of 2014.

“The new management team was able to increase income and attendance as well as reduce overheads but not to the extent needed to make the business profitable.

“All 50 staff are to lose their positions. They were given 30 days notice and I am pleased to say that most have now found alternative employment.

“I would personally like to thank our customers who came to this lovely, friendly casino and I wish all the staff success in their new jobs.”

Liverpool-based State Casino took over the premises and invested around £70,000 refurbishing the bar area, rearranging the gaming area and renaming it Sam Tai.

The Paris had relocated to the site in 2012 after fire tore through its original building in Station Road in 2009.

VOLATILE

Around £1m was invested in creating the new French-themed casino operated by directors John Rees, Pierre Coulon and Peter Farran who took over the former Number One club.

However, Mr Coulon was stripped of his licence by the Gambling Commission in 2013 after being convicted of rigging a roulette game to 
allow a friend to win £500.

Staff have spoken of their sadness at the closure.

One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s sad because we worked really hard but the gambling industry is volatile. It’s hard for an independent casino.

“Ultimately it wasn’t enough. The restaurant was always seen as one of the best in Blackpool, and some members of staff had long service which dated back to the old Paris Casino on Station Road.

“Staff have been leaving to go to new jobs ever since the future of the casino became unclear, and I’m glad to say most have been able to find new jobs in the hospitality industry.”

The Sam Tai had offered slot machine jackpots of up to £20,000, plus games like Roulette, Blackjack and Poker while the restaurant was able to seat more than 80 people.

Its closure leaves three casinos in Blackpool – The Genting on Queens Promenade, the G Casino on South Promenade and Coral Island.