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£15m casino plan to create 180 jobs

Sandwell | News | Published:

A multi-million-pound plan for a new casino in the Black Country also includes a hotel and office block, it was revealed today.

A multi-million-pound plan for a new casino in the Black Country also includes a hotel and office block, it was revealed today.

The new additions boost the number of jobs in the £15 million scheme from 120 to 180.

If approved, the complex will be built off the Birchley Island, opposite Toys R Us, in Oldbury.

Meanwhile 15 new jobs will be created through the £1.5m expansion of Grosvenor Casino in Bentley Mill Way, Walsall.

Sandwell Council is in talks with gaming giant Rank Group and developers St Modwen over the scheme in the borough.

Councillor Ian Jones, cabinet member for jobs and economy, said: "The development is attractive in respect that it will create full and part-time jobs in the area. Any development of this size would be welcome but there are still issues we need to overcome first."

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If given the go-ahead, the development would create 120 jobs in the casino, 80 of which would be full-time.

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The 500sqm office complex would create 35 jobs and the new hotel would have openings for 20 jobs.

"We are working hard to bring as many jobs as possible to Sandwell and these opportunities do not include all of the construction jobs that would also be created," Councillor Jones added.

The new casino would be a Grosvenor Casino and could be open as early as 2012.

But Rank Group first needs to overcome a blanket ban on gambling venues in Sandwell. Casinos were banned from opening in the borough in 2006 because councillors feared they might encourage gambling in an area of high deprivation.

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Rank Group was awarded its licence around five years ago before the ban came into force.

The new casino, hotel and office complex would be built on a triangle of vacant land to the south side of the Birchley Island adjacent to the M5 slip road.

The land is owned by Sandwell Council and St Modwen. Rank Group, which also owns Mecca Bingo, is building 10 new casinos across the country as part of a £50m expansion.

The company also wants to build a new casino in Birmingham.

Dan Waugh, spokesman from casino owners Rank Group, said the expansion plans would offer a boost to the Walsall venue.

"The Grosvenor Casino in Walsall has proved very successful with customers," he said. "We would expect the expansion to lead to an increase in custom, which would obviously mean an increase in staffing too. We would expect to see around 15 new jobs."

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