Grosvenor Casino have put their Great Yarmouth casino up for sale for a cool £1.1 million.
The firm plans to open the seafront property on May 17, when more of the government’s restrictions are lifted, and will operate the venue as normal until a buyer can be found.
Grosvenor have asserted that they are ‘fully committed’ to reopening the casino, although if a sale is confirmed it remains to be seen what part they will play in the future of the property on Wellington Pier.
The local estate agent, Savills, has priced the casino at £1.1 million, with a new ten-year lease granted to Grosvenor at an annual rent of £95,000. The venue’s turnover in the 2019/20 financial year – with one month lost – was £180,000.
It brings an end to a troubled year for Grosvenor, who have permanently closed their casinos in Bristol, Margate, Torquay and Southport. Their spokesperson said:
“We are fully committed to keeping our casino open in Great Yarmouth which is a valuable part of the Grosvenor estate.
“As part of an ongoing review of various sites, we are exploring ways to optimise our property portfolio mix, but would like to reassure customers and colleagues that the casino is here to stay and we’re excited about the prospect of reopening when lockdown restrictions are eased in a few weeks’ time.”
Commission Cracks Down
Whoever takes on the Great Yarmouth site will need to be on their best behaviour as the UK Gambling Commission’s warpath continues.
The beleaguered regulator has dished out fines and punishments to five land-based casinos as their major crackdown continues.
Each of the firms in questions has been charged with social responsibility and/or anti-money laundering breaches, and all have now had their operating licenses put under review as a consequence.
A&S Leisure Group Ltd, which operates casinos across the north of England under the Napoleons brand, has been fined £377,000 and warned as to their future conduct.
Clockfair Limited, which operates the Broadway Casino in Birmingham, and Shaftesbury Casino Limited in West Bromwich will both have to pay £260,000 in fines.
Double Diamond Gaming Limited, which runs a casino in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, and Les Croupiers Casino Limited in Cardiff, will pay £247,000 and £202,500 respectively.
It is the latest in a flurry of activity from the Commission, who dished out a hefty £6 million fine to Casumo last week and £3.4 million to Intouch Games shortly before that. It comes at a time when the regulator has come under considerable scrutiny for allowing the Football Index platform – which has now gone bust – to hold a licence for so long. The firm’s chief executive, Neil McArthur, quit amid the fallout.
The executive director of the Commission, Richard Watson, confirmed that the organisation was conducting an ‘ongoing drive’ to crack down on those that don’t meet the required standard.
“These failings were identified as part of our ongoing drive to raise standards across the whole gambling industry,” he said.
“Every single operator must ensure they are following rules that are in place to make gambling safer and prevent it being a source of crime.”