Wolverhampton, England’s probably best known for its famous football club the Wolverhampton Wanderers, but it might start to become a more popular site with visitors as a new casino is possibly set to open there. The Wolverhampton Racecourse has confirmed that it will be applying to become the first city in the country to open something it’s calling a “racino”, which will be a combination racecourse and casino, making it a bettor’s delight. In addition, the project could create approximately 300 much-needed jobs in the community. This would be the first Racino in the UK.
Apparently, Wolverhampton City Council can provide a casino licence since it has had the power to do so since 2008. However, the proposal has been slowed down by bureaucratic red tape. The nation’s former Labour government stated that up to 16 casinos could be opened across the country and Wolverhampton was given permission to launch one. The casino can have a maximum of 80 slot machines and there was originally five different groups interested in opening one in Wolverhampton, but the racecourse owners, Arena Leisure, was the only one to follow through on the application process.
The official process to apply for a casino license won’t take place until august, but the city’s council has cleared the way by approving the application process. Roger Lawrence of the council said that the application was approved since the casino would generate jobs and income for the city. He mentioned that a new casino was opened in London’s Newham area and said it’s already had a positive impact on the community.
A casino was originally planned for the Low Level Station building, but that will now be turned into a banquet hall. Arena Leisure was given three more years to construct a £23 million extension to the existing racecourse while it was awaiting for the license to get through the red tape. The company was then taken over by the Reuben brothers in January for £167 million. The council had agreed in 2010 to spend £100,000 in tax money to decide which group would be granted with the casino license.
In addition, the city also had to review the current gambling policy before it went ahead with its approval of the Racino. It’s taken some time since the racecourse had hoped that a casino could have been opened as far back as 2009. When it does eventually open its doors, the 80 slot machines will have a maximum prize of £4,000.
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