Casino planning move to bigger site - Saturday 2nd of August 2008

A casino in Wolverhampton set to be demolished to make way for a shopping complex unveiled plans today to create 30 new jobs in an expansion.

Owners of the Rubicon Casino in Temple Street are looking for a new venue of more than twice the size to move into after they close to make way for the Summer Row development.

The 12,000 sq ft casino, in the city centre, employs around 70 people.

Duncan Savage, operations director at Rubicon owners Blue Chip Casinos, said: “We’re actively seeking new premises. We’ve been looking within the ring road but there’s been nothing available that was suitable so we’ve started looking outside the ring road.

“We’ve seen one premises that we’re very keen on we’ve got another one that we’re looking at next week.”

Allan Griffiths, club manager, said they are focussing on sites that are upwards of 30,000 sq ft. And the bigger premises will mean more employees.

“The long term plan is to make it a more of an entertainment venue. It will have live entertainment, bars, restaurants and cafes,” said Mr Savage.

Blue Chip is one of a number of companies which has expressed an interest in opening one of eight new-style casinos across the country which are permitted under Government gambling legislation.

Dunstall Racecourse is also in the running to open a new-style casino, but plans for a gambling venue at the Low Level station under older gaming laws were dropped at the 11th hour earlier this week.

Guidelines for councils to deal with applications are still being drawn up, but Mr Savage said Rubicon’s move would go ahead regardless of whether its bid for a bigger venue was successful.

Rubicon is expecting to vacate its current premises in the New Year, with work on Summer Row, which will create dozens of new shops, bars and restaurants, due to start next spring.

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