ources have said the Palace on Southend’s Pier Hill is a likely venue, but no one at the hotel was able to confirm this at the time of going to press. The gaming giant’s preferred venue was always the new 22,000-seater Blues stadium at Fossetts Farm, but repeated delays have forced it to look elsewhere.
Company bosses are set to announce in the next month or so where they will build the us$ 13 million 24-hour casino, which is expected to create 200 to 400 jobs. It has been reported the new venue will be a G-Casino, which is a new-and-improved version of the Grosvenor brand.
Tim Quinlan, consultant for Rank, said: “We’ve got the license, we are just waiting for the premises. “We hope to finalise with one site very shortly. “We will make a decision in the next month. Where we wanted to go was the football ground. “Of course, the delays with that are outside our control.”
Quinlan would not disclose the location, but confirmed it would be within Southend itself rather than the outlying areas of Leigh and Shoebury. He added: “The investment would be about us$ 13 million and we are talking about 200 to 400 people being employed. “Some people have adverse opinions about casinos, but there are lots of good factors about them. “They make a town more attractive wherever it is.”
The company has planning permission to open a casino at its Mecca Bingo site on the Greyhound trading estate, but, despite spending us$ 3.2 million revamping the premises, it will not open one there. As well as Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor, Rank owns gaming businesses across Europe.