Glasgow hotel gets green light for casino

The four-star Thistle Hotel in Cambridge Street intends turning part of the ground floor of the building into a gaming emporium with a separate entrance on Renfrew Street.

Few details are available about the casino plan but city councillors were told the ballroom’s mezzanine floor will become a „major players area“ for high spenders.

The ballroom is the biggest in Scotland, with a capacity of 1500 people for a conference and 900 for a dance.

Now bosses plan to take advantage of the city’s „Glasvegas“ image.

The Thistle’s casino proposals are part of a larger refurbishment project which so far has seen £1million spent on upgrading bedrooms and public rooms in the last two years.

The 300-bedroom, four-star Thistle Hotel opened in 1983 and will continue operating as a hotel.

A company spokeswoman said: „The next step will be to apply for a casino licence which we hope to be able to do by June.

„Once we have the licence we will start the formal planning of the refurbishment work.

„We will try to conduct that with as little disruption to the running of the hotel as possible.

„We expect it to be around 12 to 18 months before the casino opens its doors.“

Glasgow already has five casinos, including Scotland’s largest, a Gala casino in Glassford Street in the Merchant City.

However, an £8m development, the Rendezvous at Springfield Quay, is set to be even bigger when it opens next year.

A string of others are in the pipeline including three proposals for supercasinos at sites in Las Vegas Sands at Rangers FC, Kerzner International at the SECC and the MGM Mirage at Glasgow Harbour.

Until April last year, Glasgow was expected to house one of eight UK super-casinos, but government plans were downgraded to just one super-casino in the UK, widely expected to be in Blackpool.

Then earlier this year speculation suggested the government would amend its proposals and allow cities such as Glasgow into a first phase of development.