£30m, 1,400 capacity casino opens in Leeds

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The economy in Leeds is set to hit the jackpot once more as the UK’s third biggest casino opens in the city.

The first phase of the Victoria Gate development will be complete with the launch of the £30m venture next Thursday.

Footfall is expected to be at its height over the following weekend as people from serious gamers to those having a leisurely weekend will be keen to visit the 1,400 capacity casino, which sits above the John Lewis store.

Patrick Noakes, venue director said: “We are hoping for a very high footfall and expecting large numbers of people coming to visit for a look.

“We are not predicting numbers at this time but we have had a good response, it is a new venue in the city and we are looking to open with a bang.”

The Yorkshire Evening Post has had a preview of the casino which covers two floors and 50,000 square feet - the equivalent to 18 tennis courts.

Contractors are now putting the finishing touches to the casino which will only close its doors on Christmas Day.

There are wall-to-wall screens for watching sport, one giant screen made up of single television screens and private function spaces.

There is a sports bar, Live, with drinks and bar food, Curve is the cocktail bar, partnered with Moet and Chandon, also serving craft beers and champagne and V Restaurant is a brasserie cooking up traditional home favourites to Pan-Asian cuisine.

No fewer than 168 drinks bottles make up a full length display wall behind the Curve bar which has been fitted out with a shimmering and moving ceiling.

Two outdoor smoking terraces have also been built.

There are 140 slot machines, 75 electronic game machines and 24 gaming tables.

Over 5,000 people applied for the 200 jobs which have been created by the casino development.

The Victoria Gate Casino is the only ‘supercasino’ in the north of England and only the fourth in the country to be granted a licence of its type. Under legislation set by The Gambling Act 2005, only a total of eight venues across the UK will be given such status.

On behalf of Global Gaming Ventures, the firm behind the casino, Deborah Roil added: “Leeds was the only city in the north to get one of these licences but one of the reasons why we were so keen to come here is that Leeds is a vibrant city and well known for people going out and having fun.

“The city centre location is where you get large volumes of people and we want to be part of the night out.”

Kevin Hollinrake MP for Thirsk and Malton Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

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