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New bid for 24 hour casino

Robert McDougall outside the Genting Casino on Queens Promenade North Shore. Robert, whose brother lives in the Belsfield Care Home on Carlin Gate near the casino, is protesting at an application to for the casino to open 24 hours a day.  PIC BY ROB LOCK 28-3-2014

Robert McDougall outside the Genting Casino on Queens Promenade North Shore. Robert, whose brother lives in the Belsfield Care Home on Carlin Gate near the casino, is protesting at an application to for the casino to open 24 hours a day. PIC BY ROB LOCK 28-3-2014

Plans have been unveiled by a Blackpool casino to become the latest to operate around the clock.

Genting Casino on Queen’s Promenade currently opens from noon until 6am but wants to operate and serve alcohol on a 24-hour basis.

It has applied to Blackpool Council to vary its premises licence – but the bid has so far sparked two objections.

One is from Robert McDougall of Patterdale Avenue, Marton, whose brother Michael, 59, has been in the nearby Belsfield House care home on Carlin Gate for 18 months.

Mr McDougall, 75, fears that noise from revellers and extra cars parked on side streets will disturb residents at the Belsfield House and St Stephen’s Care Homes, including Michael, who suffers with several conditions.

“There will be noise from all the extra traffic parking outside people’s homes on side streets which are already full,” he said.

“Revellers from the casino who have been drinking may also be rowdy and this will disturb people like my brother and prevent them from sleeping.”

Mr McDougall added that he had worries over the wider social impact of 24-hour gambling and drinking.

A bid by police and council chiefs to introduce an early morning alcohol restriction order (EMRO) banning sales of alcohol was rejected by the council’s licensing committee in February.

Mr McDougall has written to Lancashire Police’s chief constable Steve Finnigan to call on the police to object to Genting’s application and he worries it would mean more police patrols would be necessary, at a cost to the force and tax-payers.

“If this is approved it will create a precedent for other clubs and hotels to apply for 24-hour licences,” said Mr McDougall.

“Blackpool is not Las Vegas and should not be trying to style itself in that way,” he added.

“Gambling and drinking can ruin people’s lives – they can get addicted, spend more money they have and end up going to loan sharks.

“These things can cause real sociological problems.”

But Claire Smith, president of hotelier association Stay Blackpool, who had opposed the EMRO, said she did not have a problem with the plan.

“You don’t hear of any trouble or bother with the other three casinos in Blackpool which are all open around the clock,” she said.

“These places know that any incident of noise or which causes the police to be called could count heavily against their licence and I think they do what they do very well
 in a controlled environment with lots of rules and regulations.

“Anything which helps a business to grow, retain jobs and possible create new ones has to be of benefit to the local economy.”

A council spokesman said it had received just one complaint against any of the three 24-hour casinos – Grosvenor, Palace and Coral Island over the last year – relating to concerns about someone’s problem gambling.

He added the application was likely to go to before a future licensing committee.

The public has until April 4 to comment on the plans.

 

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