DCSIMG

Firms drop bids to win licence for new Leeds casino

UNITED VISION: How Leeds United envisages its casino would look if the bid was successful.

UNITED VISION: How Leeds United envisages its casino would look if the bid was successful.

Two companies have dropped their interest in taking charge of a Las Vegas-style casino in Leeds.

A total of five parties lodged bids earlier this year with Leeds City Council in the hope of securing the licence for the so-called ‘new generation’ gaming complex.

Now, however, the Yorkshire Evening Post has learned that the contest for the licence has become a three-way fight.

Casino firm Grosvenor and developer Rushbond yesterday (Nov 21) confirmed they had pulled out of the bidding process.

Grosvenor had previously earmarked a site for the attraction that is bounded by Eastgate, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Playhouse Square.

A spokeswoman said the firm had decided not to pursue its bid due to “reasons beyond our control” but would not elaborate further.

Rushbond, meanwhile, had been looking at making the new generation casino part of its redeveloped Majestic building in City Square.

Richard Baker, a development surveyor at Rushbond, said a number of leisure uses – including a smaller casino – remained under consideration for the landmark site.

The departure of Grosvenor and Rushbond from the race leaves the remaining bidders for the licence as:

* Leeds United, who have said they want the new casino to be part of a revamped West Stand at their Elland Road ground;

* Global Gaming Ventures, whose complex would be based in the city’s new £600m Eastgate Quarters development;

* London Clubs, which sees the scheme as a way of taking its existing Alea casino at Clarence Dock to another level.

Leeds is among eight towns and cities that have permission to license ‘large’ new generation casinos.

They will be three times the size of the current UK norm and boast up to 150 slot machines offering maximum jackpots of £4,000.

The licence for the casino will be awarded by the city council.

Today the council said it could not comment on the bids as it is part of a “statutory licensing process”.

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