Tough competition expected as council announces bidding date for huge casino contract

Daily Echo: Dealer Sherreen at one of the tables in Aspers Casino in London Dealer Sherreen at one of the tables in Aspers Casino in London

The bidding battle to run Southampton’s super-casino will start within weeks.

Southampton City Council will launch the competition to run the gambling complex at Royal Pier on April 1.

The super-casino, which would be only the third of its kind in the country, is seen as a cornerstone of the £450million plans for the dilapidated site.

A planning application for the development is due to be submitted this year. The scheme could create more than 6,000 new jobs as well as 500 homes, a luxury hotel and rows of posh bars and restaurants.

As the Daily Echo revealed last month, gambling giant Aspers, which runs the UK’s only other super-casinos in London and Milton Keynes, has already confirmed it will bid to run the venue.

Labour council bosses say they believe there will be “significant interest” from firms wanting to run the casino.

Southampton is one of only eight places in the country with a licence to run a large casino, which can house up to 30 blackjack and poker tables and 150 slot machines with jackpots of up to £4,000.

The first stage of the competition will see interested parties submit bids. The council will then decide which applicants meet their criteria.

If there is more than one bidder, a second phase will begin in the autumn which will see expert advisors scrutinise each applicant before a final decision by the council’s licensing committee.

Council leader Simon Letts said: “This is the last of the eight licences available in the UK and I expect significant interest. The key to any award is the significant regeneration benefits that the development will bring and without these I doubt a licence would be granted.”

Comments (23)

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12:15pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Murray mint says...

Please look at how Super Casinos have invested in Singapore before you sell off Southampton's crown jewells for a couple of cheap flats a motel and a wine bar.
Please look at how Super Casinos have invested in Singapore before you sell off Southampton's crown jewells for a couple of cheap flats a motel and a wine bar. Murray mint
  • Score: 6

1:16pm Thu 6 Mar 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

Murray mint wrote:
Please look at how Super Casinos have invested in Singapore before you sell off Southampton's crown jewells for a couple of cheap flats a motel and a wine bar.
You appear to disapprove - can you elaborate in what you've said so the issues you have are clearer? Are you concerned that businesses shouldn't invest in non-democratic Simgapore, or by casinos more generally?
[quote][p][bold]Murray mint[/bold] wrote: Please look at how Super Casinos have invested in Singapore before you sell off Southampton's crown jewells for a couple of cheap flats a motel and a wine bar.[/p][/quote]You appear to disapprove - can you elaborate in what you've said so the issues you have are clearer? Are you concerned that businesses shouldn't invest in non-democratic Simgapore, or by casinos more generally? WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 4

2:03pm Thu 6 Mar 14

rich the stitch says...

Good god the woman in the picture has got the longest arms I've ever seen (apart from mr. tickle)
Good god the woman in the picture has got the longest arms I've ever seen (apart from mr. tickle) rich the stitch
  • Score: 1

2:19pm Thu 6 Mar 14

03alpe01 says...

dare I ask, what if this doesn't actually go ahead???
dare I ask, what if this doesn't actually go ahead??? 03alpe01
  • Score: 1

3:52pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Might SS says...

Good god the woman in the picture has got the longest arms I've ever seen (apart from mr. tickle)

She's also got horns !!!
Good god the woman in the picture has got the longest arms I've ever seen (apart from mr. tickle) She's also got horns !!! Might SS
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Danae says...

Holding a bidding competition would be premature.

... A referendum was promised on whether Southampton wants/needs another ... super ... large ... or in reality probably mid-sized casino.

The order of business is Referendum first. Bidding idea later.

Otherwise SCC could be doing abortive work, at some cost.
Holding a bidding competition would be premature. ... A referendum was promised on whether Southampton wants/needs another ... super ... large ... or in reality probably mid-sized casino. The order of business is Referendum first. Bidding idea later. Otherwise SCC could be doing abortive work, at some cost. Danae
  • Score: 1

4:29pm Thu 6 Mar 14

elvisimo says...

Danae wrote:
Holding a bidding competition would be premature.

... A referendum was promised on whether Southampton wants/needs another ... super ... large ... or in reality probably mid-sized casino.

The order of business is Referendum first. Bidding idea later.

Otherwise SCC could be doing abortive work, at some cost.
there will not be a referendum so they shouldn't have any abortive costs.
[quote][p][bold]Danae[/bold] wrote: Holding a bidding competition would be premature. ... A referendum was promised on whether Southampton wants/needs another ... super ... large ... or in reality probably mid-sized casino. The order of business is Referendum first. Bidding idea later. Otherwise SCC could be doing abortive work, at some cost.[/p][/quote]there will not be a referendum so they shouldn't have any abortive costs. elvisimo
  • Score: 2

4:48pm Thu 6 Mar 14

03alpe01 says...

elvisimo wrote:
Danae wrote:
Holding a bidding competition would be premature.

... A referendum was promised on whether Southampton wants/needs another ... super ... large ... or in reality probably mid-sized casino.

The order of business is Referendum first. Bidding idea later.

Otherwise SCC could be doing abortive work, at some cost.
there will not be a referendum so they shouldn't have any abortive costs.
quite right there shouldn't be. danger is if there was to be a referendum then it might get the dreaded no vote and there would be no giant casino for the council and developers to enjoy.
[quote][p][bold]elvisimo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Danae[/bold] wrote: Holding a bidding competition would be premature. ... A referendum was promised on whether Southampton wants/needs another ... super ... large ... or in reality probably mid-sized casino. The order of business is Referendum first. Bidding idea later. Otherwise SCC could be doing abortive work, at some cost.[/p][/quote]there will not be a referendum so they shouldn't have any abortive costs.[/p][/quote]quite right there shouldn't be. danger is if there was to be a referendum then it might get the dreaded no vote and there would be no giant casino for the council and developers to enjoy. 03alpe01
  • Score: 3

5:03pm Thu 6 Mar 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

Danae wrote:
Holding a bidding competition would be premature.

... A referendum was promised on whether Southampton wants/needs another ... super ... large ... or in reality probably mid-sized casino.

The order of business is Referendum first. Bidding idea later.

Otherwise SCC could be doing abortive work, at some cost.
It's a bit chicken and egg though isn't it? Without some preliminary work, what would a referendum be actually based on - just a rather vague proposal for a 'biggish casino'.

Personally I'm not in favour of a slew of referendums on casinos, fluoride etc. my view is that we elect local politicians whose job it is to inform themselves of the benefits or otherwise of these things and then make decisions. Referendums in particular run the risk of being hijacked by special interest groups - be they for or against - and campaigns of misinformation then follow. Often with big business closely involved, and almost always with vested interests at play.
[quote][p][bold]Danae[/bold] wrote: Holding a bidding competition would be premature. ... A referendum was promised on whether Southampton wants/needs another ... super ... large ... or in reality probably mid-sized casino. The order of business is Referendum first. Bidding idea later. Otherwise SCC could be doing abortive work, at some cost.[/p][/quote]It's a bit chicken and egg though isn't it? Without some preliminary work, what would a referendum be actually based on - just a rather vague proposal for a 'biggish casino'. Personally I'm not in favour of a slew of referendums on casinos, fluoride etc. my view is that we elect local politicians whose job it is to inform themselves of the benefits or otherwise of these things and then make decisions. Referendums in particular run the risk of being hijacked by special interest groups - be they for or against - and campaigns of misinformation then follow. Often with big business closely involved, and almost always with vested interests at play. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 2

5:30pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Burt HInkler says...

Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town. Burt HInkler
  • Score: 8

6:42pm Thu 6 Mar 14

IndyJones says...

Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.
[quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton. IndyJones
  • Score: -3

6:52pm Thu 6 Mar 14

03alpe01 says...

IndyJones wrote:
Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.
why? why not go to one of the other casinos that are already here?
[quote][p][bold]IndyJones[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.[/p][/quote]why? why not go to one of the other casinos that are already here? 03alpe01
  • Score: 5

7:15pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Lone Ranger. says...

IndyJones wrote:
Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.
Yes i agree ..... better than an ice rink
[quote][p][bold]IndyJones[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.[/p][/quote]Yes i agree ..... better than an ice rink Lone Ranger.
  • Score: -5

7:23pm Thu 6 Mar 14

03alpe01 says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
IndyJones wrote:
Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.
Yes i agree ..... better than an ice rink
but not better than your ski complex ;)
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IndyJones[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.[/p][/quote]Yes i agree ..... better than an ice rink[/p][/quote]but not better than your ski complex ;) 03alpe01
  • Score: 1

7:57pm Thu 6 Mar 14

georgetheseventh says...

03alpe01 wrote:
Lone Ranger. wrote:
IndyJones wrote:
Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.
Yes i agree ..... better than an ice rink
but not better than your ski complex ;)
Hope you get rid of your complex soon sunshine.
[quote][p][bold]03alpe01[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IndyJones[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.[/p][/quote]Yes i agree ..... better than an ice rink[/p][/quote]but not better than your ski complex ;)[/p][/quote]Hope you get rid of your complex soon sunshine. georgetheseventh
  • Score: -1

9:37pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Reality-man says...

IndyJones wrote:
Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.
Me too
[quote][p][bold]IndyJones[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.[/p][/quote]Me too Reality-man
  • Score: -5

12:27am Fri 7 Mar 14

Block41row0sfc says...

There will always be a comment for a ice rink Hahahaha
There will always be a comment for a ice rink Hahahaha Block41row0sfc
  • Score: 5

4:24am Fri 7 Mar 14

SFC-Matt says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
IndyJones wrote:
Burt HInkler wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.
Yes i agree ..... better than an ice rink
I agree. Bring on the casino
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IndyJones[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.[/p][/quote]Yes i agree ..... better than an ice rink[/p][/quote]I agree. Bring on the casino SFC-Matt
  • Score: -4

4:39am Fri 7 Mar 14

IndyJones says...

03alpe01 wrote:
IndyJones wrote:
Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.
why? why not go to one of the other casinos that are already here?
Higher jackpots, More tables means they can hold bigger tournaments. If you don't like the idea you don't have to go to there.
[quote][p][bold]03alpe01[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IndyJones[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.[/p][/quote]why? why not go to one of the other casinos that are already here?[/p][/quote]Higher jackpots, More tables means they can hold bigger tournaments. If you don't like the idea you don't have to go to there. IndyJones
  • Score: 1

5:57am Fri 7 Mar 14

elvisimo says...

Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
Nobody? Or do you mean 'you'. Who would pay the Super Arena considering in the past they have been gov or eu funded or part funded. The lastest one being mooted in Bristol would cost £91m.
We do want a super casino in the same way we do want many other things. In the current economic environment you will get the things that are either self funding or profitable and will therefore involve private investors.
[quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]Nobody? Or do you mean 'you'. Who would pay the Super Arena considering in the past they have been gov or eu funded or part funded. The lastest one being mooted in Bristol would cost £91m. We do want a super casino in the same way we do want many other things. In the current economic environment you will get the things that are either self funding or profitable and will therefore involve private investors. elvisimo
  • Score: -2

10:34am Fri 7 Mar 14

gilbertratchet says...

Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
Please don't purport to speak for the entire city.
[quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]Please don't purport to speak for the entire city. gilbertratchet
  • Score: 0

10:35am Fri 7 Mar 14

gilbertratchet says...

03alpe01 wrote:
IndyJones wrote:
Burt HInkler wrote:
Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.
I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.
why? why not go to one of the other casinos that are already here?
Should we only have one of everything?
[quote][p][bold]03alpe01[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IndyJones[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Burt HInkler[/bold] wrote: Nobody wants this casino in Southampton ! We want something that really is going to be a winner for the city, namely a multi purpose arena that can attract upwards of 10,000 and be a huge economical injection for the town.[/p][/quote]I'd like this casino to be built in Southampton.[/p][/quote]why? why not go to one of the other casinos that are already here?[/p][/quote]Should we only have one of everything? gilbertratchet
  • Score: -4

1:50pm Fri 7 Mar 14

230 repeat please says...

Casinos; including the one already at this site, are closing down all over the country, often; as was the case in Leeds leading to the closure of the associated high profile restaurants run by Michelin star chef. Why would this be any different? Aspers Casino in Swansea was the biggest in Wales when it opened in 2007 with an expectation of 10,000 visitors a week, it closed down in 2012 as it was no longer viable following the increase in online and phone gambling. Apparently now Aspers have confirmed they would bid to run a casino in Southampton, but who can be sure of the potential marketplace by the time the council has considered bids, planning has been obtained and a facility built? Unless people are playing the machines and tables, the venue becomes a glorified club and is not financially viable.
It doesn't bother me, as I have no intention of visiting a casino, but would prefer it to be built at a different site, away from the waterfront, which should be opened up for more family friendly activities.
I agree the city would benefit from a multi purpose arena, but think the Ford site is far more suitable for transport etc. The new Leeds Arena is fantastic, draws people into the City, attracts major artists and sponsorship. I do wonder how Councils such as Bournemouth, (who are also not eligible for government or EU grants) recognise how their demographic is changing and consider building something similar in the current economic climate, but Southampton don't. The numbers of students and under 5's are increasing the fastest in this city, I wonder which type of venue those residents are most likely to visit?
Casinos; including the one already at this site, are closing down all over the country, often; as was the case in Leeds leading to the closure of the associated high profile restaurants run by Michelin star chef. Why would this be any different? Aspers Casino in Swansea was the biggest in Wales when it opened in 2007 with an expectation of 10,000 visitors a week, it closed down in 2012 as it was no longer viable following the increase in online and phone gambling. Apparently now Aspers have confirmed they would bid to run a casino in Southampton, but who can be sure of the potential marketplace by the time the council has considered bids, planning has been obtained and a facility built? Unless people are playing the machines and tables, the venue becomes a glorified club and is not financially viable. It doesn't bother me, as I have no intention of visiting a casino, but would prefer it to be built at a different site, away from the waterfront, which should be opened up for more family friendly activities. I agree the city would benefit from a multi purpose arena, but think the Ford site is far more suitable for transport etc. The new Leeds Arena is fantastic, draws people into the City, attracts major artists and sponsorship. I do wonder how Councils such as Bournemouth, (who are also not eligible for government or EU grants) recognise how their demographic is changing and consider building something similar in the current economic climate, but Southampton don't. The numbers of students and under 5's are increasing the fastest in this city, I wonder which type of venue those residents are most likely to visit? 230 repeat please
  • Score: 6

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