GGV proposed to open the casino on the first floor of the upcoming £130 million Victoria Gate development which is due for completion in 2016. A provisional statement has been provided at this stage as Leeds Council cannot issue a full license whilst the premises are not constructed. Once the property is complete, it is expected the full license will be granted.
The statement was granted based on several assurances made by GGV, which include the following:
- An upfront payment to Leeds Council of £1 million
- An annual payment to Leeds Council of £450,000 or 4% of net gaming, whichever is greater Employment of at least 205 full time staff (with 90% being Leeds City residents), 10 apprentices and 15 individuals Not In Education, Employment or Training (NEETS)
- Agreement to set up and fund a Leeds Responsible Gambling Forum Agreement to set up an Impact Committee to monitor the impact of the casino
- Conformation that their marketing and advertising campaigns will not target the most deprived and vulnerable in the city
A representative of Leeds Council said, “We received two strong proposals which were both duly considered. Importantly, GGV has committed to provide significant funds for a council run social inclusion fund and a range of measures that will help to ensure that any potential harmful effects are managed and mitigated against.”
GGV Chief Executive Graham Hyde has said they are “thrilled to win the competition and be coming to Leeds”. Naturally however, not everyone was happy with the news. A spokesperson for Leeds United said they were “obviously disappointed” and that they had put together a bid which was “very professional and proposed how the greatest benefit to the city could be achieved”.
Construction is expected to begin on the development in 2014. Although given the tempestuous road the license has travelled so far, who knows if there will be more speed bumps before Destination Super Casino is finally reached?
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