Tuesday, February 22, 2022

News: Planning gamble pays off as Merkur opens in Rotherham


Merkur Slots has opened in a vacant unit in Rotherham town centre following a partly successful planning appeal.

Rothbiz reported last year that Cashino Gaming Ltd had been refused planning permission in Rotherham for a High Street adult gaming centre (AGC) as council officers were unhappy with the proposed 24 hour operation.

The venues do not offer Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) like betting shops but instead contain machines that offer low stakes and bingo being played on tablets.

The change of use application is for a vacant unit on Frederick Street, a former bookmakers.

The main issues in this appeal are the effect of the proposal on the vitality of the town centre, with due regard to national and local planning policy and the impact of the proposals on local residents in terms of noise and disturbance.

At appeal the adult gaming centre was given the green light but instead of being a 24 hour operation, a condition states that open hours for customers or for deliveries are to be between the hours of 8am and midnight.

Paul Cooper, planning inspector, siad: "The appeal building has remained vacant for a considerable period of time, and given the details before me, I am not confident that this position would alter any time soon, resulting in the prospect of the unit remaining empty for the foreseeable future. Therefore, the prospect of the host property being brought back into use, weighs in favour of the proposal. Nonetheless, I recognise that the Council are working to regenerate the area and improve the function of the town centre.

"It is highly likely that the operation of the AGC through the night would create additional activity at a time when local residents would expect a quieter environment at such times. On this basis, I cannot support the operation of the AGC for 24-hours a day."

The opening is part of a nationwide programme that will see Merkur Slots invest over £10m on UK high streets in 2022. The Rotherham venue is one of a number of recent openings.

Mark Schertle, chief operating officer of Merkur Slots' parent company MERKUR Casino UK, said: “We pride ourselves on our continued investment in UK high streets, and so it means a lot to be able to support the local community and economy in our six new locations through the creation of these new jobs. Every new venue we open creates an average of 10 new local jobs and having created 400 in 2021, we are aiming to create a further 600 in 2022.”

The new venues feature the latest bingo and digital slot machines, with the emphasis firmly on low stake gaming and pay-outs ranging from £5 to £500, and an extensive library of new and classic games. Customers also receive unlimited free refreshments.

“Our aim with these new state-of-the-art entertainment centres is to give both new and existing customers a unique gaming experience in an environment that reflects the scale of the investment,” added Mark. “I’m sure those visiting over the next few days and weeks will be as excited about the new MERKUR Slots venues as I am.”

Merkur website

Images: Merkur


Anonymous,  February 23, 2022 at 1:29 PM  

Awful news. Gambling is a dead end game.

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