Leading UK operator Aspers moves forward on its plan to build a casino part of a £450m project in the port city of Southampton after High Court rejected a legal challenge to block the casino license this week. This gives Aspers, the winning applicant of the last large casino licenses in the UK, the ability to open its facility with 150 gaming machines and 30 tables.
Aspers, which has large casino licenses in London and Milton Keynes, was last year awarded the license by Southampton City Council that would allow it to open a casino with a similar 36,500 sqft footprint to its Milton Keynes property. Rival applicant Global Gaming Ventures (GGV challenged the decision based on the grounds that the benefits should be mathematical, since the words “Gross Value Added” had been used in the evaluation criteria and the licensing authority failed to consider alternative tenants.
No merit was found by the judge in either claim. “There is no evidence that such a fundamental amendment, as suggested by the claimant, would be countenanced, and that the wider development would go ahead as originally envisaged without the prior construction of the casino development,” clarified the judge.
A council spokesman added: “The High Court has dismissed the claim made against Southampton City Council by Global Gaming Ventures in respect of the award to the large casino license to Aspers last year. Costs to be paid by GGV have been agreed and there is no cost to the residents of Southampton.”
This enables the project to continue as intended as a main element of the regeneration project of the waterfront at Royal Pier that will also include shops, homes, bars, restaurants, a hotel and a Spitfire memorial statue. In addition to the casino, Aspers will offer live entertainment, a sports bar and restaurants. The casino would create a minimum of 180 new jobs and is expected to open in 2021.