Winning feeling for law firm as £7.6m casino opens
After four years of hard work, law firm Emms Gilmore Liberson is celebrating completing a deal leading to the launch of a new £7.6 million casino in Wolverhampton. It’s one of only a handful of new casino licences completed in the UK.
The opening of Casino 36 in Wolverhampton marks the conclusion of a complex four year project for Peter Adkins, head of the regulatory team at Emms Gilmore Liberson. Located in Temple Street in the centre of Wolverhampton, Casino 36 has created over 100 jobs for local people.
The Small Casino Premises Licence gained by Casino 36 is one of only eight permitted to be issued throughout the country under the provisions of the Gambling Act 2005. A further eight Large Casino licences can be issued. Other than these 16 licences no new casino licences can be issued in the country, making the licences highly sought after.
Under the terms of the licence, Casino 36 will contribute £36,000 towards counselling programmes for problem gamblers and their families, and community initiatives.
Peter Adkins said: “I was delighted to have been asked by Casino 36 to advise them and to handle the multiple applications needed for this project. It has been very satisfying to see the project through to conclusion.
“The complications of handling one of the very few new casino licence applications made the job very interesting. Being able to handle the accompanying changes to Operating Licences and Licensing Act applications under one roof here at Emms Gilmore Liberson was a great advantage. The licensing team at City of Wolverhampton council were very supportive throughout.”
Casino 36 owner Adrian Ballard said: “This has been a long and involved process and we are delighted that all the hard work of everyone involved has now come to fruition.
“I have to thank Peter Adkins and all my professional advisers for their proactive and positive support during this project. It has been more than a little stressful and difficult at times but I have been extremely pleased with the advice and actions of Peter and his team.”
The restrictions on the issue of new licences led to strong competition for the licence. The process has been a long one, Wolverhampton Council sought initial permission from Government to issue a licence as part of its city regeneration scheme. Once permission was granted, the process involved two competing applicants going through a contested two stage application. Later, there were accompanying Operating Licence and Licensing Act applications. Many hearings and meetings later, the formal handover of the Premises Licence took place on 9th November.
Local unemployed people have been recruited for roles in the casino, restaurant and bar, with the council and Job Centre Plus helping source croupiers, hospitality staff, bar staff, waiting staff and cleaners. An initial 15 trainee croupiers have been taken on, after undergoing training with The National Gaming Academy.
A ‘Small Casino’ is actually far larger than most existing casinos. To fall within the category defined by the Act it has to have a minimum table gaming area of 500 sq m and a minimum non-gambling area of 250 sq m. A ‘Large Casino’ has a minimum of double that area.
Peter Adkins has been regularly recognised as an expert in the area of Licensing and Gambling law in the Legal 500 Guide, a guide to leading lawyers.
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