A NEW casino is to open on the Golden Mile.
Coral Island has secured a casino licence and planning permission to convert part of its premises into a new gambling Mecca.
Work will be carried out this winter with the casino due to open in time for the 2012 season – just yards from Central Car Park which had been earmarked for the now defunct super-casino.
The scheme will create 65 full and part-time jobs.
David Biesterfield, group development director for the Noble Organisation which owns Coral Island, said the investment was another vote of confidence in Blackpool.
He added: “The casino will form part of Coral Island and will cater for the tourist as well as the local market. We see it as a welcome addition.
“We’re very pleased it has gone through and we have had support from the council.
“Work will begin at the end of this season and we expect it to open before the start of next season.
“It is important to keep investing in Coral Island. It makes a vital contribution to the town and it needs to continue to make a contribution alongside the work the council is carrying out in the area.
“We see it as a vote of confidence in Blackpool. We are delighted Merlin is making its investment in the Tower and other areas.
“It is all good news for Blackpool.”
It will be the fourth casino in Blackpool, following on from the Grosvenor on South Promenade, the Circus Casino on Queens Promenade and the Paris Casino which is set to re-open in the former Number One Club on Bloomfield Road.
Blackpool Council’s planning committee approved the Coral Island casino on Monday.
Access will be from New Bonny Street or via an internal lobby with the venue open 24 hours a day.
Coral Island’s owners have been trying to open a casino in the resort for a number of years.
In 2006 they revealed proposals to convert the former Palace nightclub but failed to secure a casino licence.
In 2004, the council refused two planning applications to convert Coral Island and Funland into casinos because the development was seen as harmful to the resort’s long-term hopes for a regional casino.