Mystery surrounds prospects for Casino Red site - Tuesday 28th of July 2009

A £5m CASINO in Huddersfield town centre remains deserted – eight months after it closed with the loss of 100 jobs.

Prospects for the grade II listed property seem gloomy following the removal of window displays during the past few days.

And bosses at online gaming business Casino Red – which opened the casino in a blaze of glory last September – remain silent over their plans for the property.

The casino opened last September at the former Princess Cinema at Northumberland Street following a £5m restoration of the grade II listed building.

VIP guests were welcomed to the opening event with champagne and canapes and entertainment from stilt walkers and fire performers.

But just eights weeks later, the venue – which also included a restaurant and three bars – was closed and employees including croupiers, bar and restaurant staff were put out of work.

They were told that the casino had to suspend trading for 30 days to try and secure extra investment after banks withdrew some of its funding.

Staff were informed that their jobs would be lost if a new investor couldn’t be found.

Eight months later, the company has provided no update on the casino, although the company’s online operations continue.

No one was available to comment yesterday at Casino Red’s offices in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Messages left on voice mail and mobile phone went unanswered.

Kirklees Council officials were also unable to comment on the situation yesterday.

The Northumberland Street building has had a chequered history since closing as a cinema more than 25 years ago.

It was used as a nightclub and a restaurant before Casino Red invested £5m in restoring the building and its major features, including a domed ceiling and sweeping balcony, and installing gaming tables for blackjack, roulette and poker as well as slot machines.

When the casino closed, a notice on the door said: “Due to unforeseen circumstances Casino Red is temporarily closed for business.”

Customers were told of the closure via a single text message, which read: “Casino Red directors have unfortunately had to temporarily suspend trading at the venue in Huddersfield. We will inform of a re-opening ASAP. Apologies.”

Those remain the last words from management on the matter.

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