An extension has been granted to the gambling licence of a Leeds casino in order to allow it to install electronic gaming machines in its outdoor smoking area.
As revealed by the licensing sub-committee of Leeds City Council, the application for increasing the gambling facilities of the Grosvenor Casino Leeds Westgate was approved despite concerns the expansion could lead to an increase in problem gambling rates in the city. Neil Buckley, Chairman of the committee, shared that the panel had attended the casino to make themselves familiar with the layout of the gambling venue’s area and facilities. He further noted that there would be no partition to separate the licensed and unlicensed part of the outside smoking area.
Furthermore, Leeds City Council’s licensing sub-committee also revealed that the Grosvenor Casino does not plan to introduce any more than four electronic gaming machines to the above-mentioned area. Chairman Buckley explained that the machines’ expansion will start with two terminals and could rise to four in case there is customer demand for the machines.
The opponents of the expansion have warned that the addition of electronic gaming machines as part of its ground floor smoking area could have a negative impact on local communities.
Councillor Karen Bruce has explained that putting such gambling facilities outdoors could cause problems for the Grosvenor Casino customers who have decided to leave the premises in order to clear their heads from gambling.
Application Gets Approval amid Rising Problem Gambling Rates
A representative of the owners of the Grosvenor Casino Leeds Westgate, situated at the Wellington Bridge Street, has given an example of several other districts which have already given similar extensions to casino gambling licenses, allowing gambling expansion to the venues’ outdoor areas. Mr Paddy Whur further explained that in other cases, the application was aimed at expanding the license to the entire outdoor smoking area, rather than to only a part of it.
As he noted, the Grosvenor Casino Leeds Westgate was willing to also keep a non-licensed area, so that the venue’s customers were able to simply have a cigarette without participating in any more gambling activities. Mr Whur further shared that none of the authorities responsible for the gambling license’s approval had any concerns with the casino operator’s application. Local residents had not expressed any concerns, too.
However, this was not entirely true. In a letter sent to the licensing department of the Leeds City Council, Councillor Bruce had explained that there was only a small amount of information about the expansion, so there was still a possibility that the proposal could raise some problems if approved.
The application for the addition of the terminals has come at a time when authorities have shared their concern related to increasing problem gambling rates among Brits. The Grosvenor Casino in Leeds, however, claims that the expansion is a very much a modest one, so it would not have a negative effect on local people and communities.