Blackpool bingo plan revived

A bid to open a bingo and slots machine arcade in Blackpool town centre is back on the cards after being thrown out on two counts by the council.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Friday, 2nd October 2020, 4:05 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd October 2020, 4:06 pm
The proposed site on Abingdon Street
The proposed site on Abingdon Street

Cashino Gaming has appealed against a refusal of planning permission for the scheme to take over a former Coral betting shop on Abingdon Street, and has also resubmitted its application for a licence.

Councillors had rejected the proposed adult gaming centre on planning and licensing grounds amid fears it would attract anti-social behaviour and tempt vulnerable people to gamble.

But Cashino Gaming, which operates under the name Merkur Slots, has come back to the table willing to agree to more stringent conditions in order to satisfy the concerns raised.

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Documents submitted to a licensing panel, which is due to decide the application on Monday October 12, list conditions including installation of a comprehensive CCTV system, and the use of a log book to record any crimes, incidents of anti-social behaviour and complaints.

Anyone judged to have been drinking would not be allowed in and the premises would close at 1am.

At a previous licensing hearing Richard Bradley, solicitor for Merkur Slots, said the company was an experienced operator with “robust procedures” in place to address any concerns.

But objectors warned levels of deprivation, homelessness and crime in the area had raised concerns about late night opening.

In reaching its decision, the panel said the risk assessment provided with the application was “not sufficient to address the identified risks of being one of most deprived areas in the country with nearby services for the vulnerable.”

Neighbouring Wyre Council approved a licence in August for a Merkur Slots arcade in the former Coral betting shop premises on Victoria Road West.

The company operates 162 adult gaming centres around the UK as well as bingo halls and other amusement arcades.