Casino bid unveiled for resort venue

An artists impression of the proposed Sands Hotel on Central Promenade, Blackpool
An artists impression of the proposed Sands Hotel on Central Promenade, Blackpool
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Plans have been revealed to convert a Blackpool entertainment centre into a casino.

Businessman Peter Swann has lodged a planning application with Blackpool Council to use the Sands Venue on Central Promenade as a gaming destination.

Sands Venue, Blackpool Promenade

Sands Venue, Blackpool Promenade

A blueprint for the scheme shows the first and second floors, which are currently occupied by a stage, auditorium, bar and restaurant, being altered to create a casino, bar and restaurant.

The casino would operate 24-hours and create 30 equivalent full-time jobs.

Mr Swann already has planning permission to build three storeys on top of the Sands centre to create a five star 96-bedroom hotel.

His agent said he was unable to comment on the casino proposals.

The Sands Venue

The Sands Venue

Blackpool currently has four casino licences - two for the Grosvenor based at the Sandcastle on South Promenade, and one each at the Genting Casino on Queens Promenade, and Coral Island on Central Promenade.

Coun Mark Smith, Talbot ward councillor and cabinet member for economic development, said: “The hotel aims to be five star which will enhance the product we have here.

“Perhaps this application is part of Peter Swann’s aspirations for Blackpool.

“He wants things to happen in Blackpool, and to encourage people with a larger spend to visit here, which is good for the town.”

The four casino licences currently operating in Blackpool were issued under 1968 legislation.

Operators of the Sands would have to apply for a new licence for their venue or vary an existing one.

The council bid for a super-casino licence under 2005 legislation, but the Government eventually vetoed Las Vegas-style gambling in this country.

Grosvenor, which bought the licence which became available when the Sam Tai Casino on Bloomfield Road closed in 2015, has two licences.

It has a lease until 2030 for the Sandcastle building.

The latest casino to open in Blackpool was at Coral Island in 2012, which created 65 full and part-time jobs.

Read more about the Sands venue here