Casino group Aspers has been awarded a licence to open its fifth casino in Southampton's proposed Royal Pier Waterfront development.
The new venue will be a major part of the pier development and will create up to 200 jobs in the city. The large licence, won in a competitive bidding process, will allow up to 150 slot machines and 30 blackjack and roulette tables.
Aspers currently operates two of the eight largest casino licences in the UK, at Westfield Stratford in London and Milton Keynes, as well as a further two venues in Newcastle and Northampton.
The Aspers group's turnover for the year to 30 June 2014 rose from £67.8 million to £83.6 million, according to the latest available figures. Visitors to Aspers Stratford City rose by five per cent in the same period.
"We are delighted with the Council’s decision to award Aspers the large casino licence for Southampton. We are very proud to have successfully delivered the first two operational large licence casinos to the UK and are excited to now have the opportunity to bring a third high quality Aspers casino, including bars, dining facilities and live entertainment, to the city of Southampton," Damian Aspinall, chairman of the Aspers group, said.
Aspers' winning bid was driven in part by the casino group's plan to deliver local benefits, including the creation of a Community Action for Responsible Gambling forum that it will introduce in Southampton.