ive applications were originally submitted when the process began in January 2012, all of which proceeded to the second stage. Three applications submitted stage two applications but only two final applications – one from GGV and one from Leeds United Football Club - were made.
GGV applied for a casino in the Eastgate development (now called Victoria Gate) and Leeds United Football Club for a casino in the West Stand at Elland Road. Both remained in the competition for final consideration at a meeting of the licensing committee earlier this week.
he Gambling Act 2005 states that the council must grant the application which would, in the authority’s opinion, be likely to result in the greatest benefit to the city.
The stage two process required the applicants to submit detailed proposals which were subject to rigorous checks and assessed against the evaluation criteria which were established by the committee and its advisors.
As part of the evaluation process, applicants were required to propose upfront and ongoing financial payments to the council to enable the council to create a ‘Social Inclusion Fund’. The council-controlled fund will be used to deliver projects that help address financial, economic and social exclusion in the city. This will include funding activities to mitigate any potential harmful effects of the operation of a large casino.
Applicants were required to explain in detail the plans they have in place to reduce any negative impact their development could have and were required to indicate their commitment to providing employment and training for local residents as well as plans to maximise economic impact.
“Following a detailed consideration of each applicants’ proposal, the licensing committee decided to award the licence to Global Gaming Ventures as it was determined that their proposal would bring greatest benefit to the city,” said Councillor Graham Hyde, chair of the licensing committee. “GGV’s proposal will provide a major boost to the local economy.The leisure economy already attracts thousands of visitors to Leeds, and this new large casino at Victoria Gate will add an extra dimension to the existing popular attractions in the city.”
The news follows London Clubs International’s decision in March to suspend trading at its Alea Leeds casino. The city has two other casinos, Gala and Napoleons.