Plans for GBP 23m racecourse casino

Plans for the UK‘s first „Racino“ – a casino at a racecourse – have been submitted in the West Midlands.

The owners of Wolverhampton Racecourse want to build a 170-bedroom hotel, improve horseracing and conference facilities and create the casino.

It follows the recent announcement by the government to propose a „small“ casino be built in Wolverhampton.

Racecourse owners Arena Leisure Plc said the development would cost GBP 23m and create up to 280 jobs.

In a statement, Arena said it was „delighted“ the city of Wolverhampton was recommended as a small casino location and that the racecourse „played such a prominent role in its successful application“.

‚Unique and interesting‘

The Casino Advisory Panel, which chose the recommended locations of one super-casino, eight large and eight small casinos around the UK last week, spoke positively of the city’s bid.

It said: „Wolverhampton well satisfies all of our criteria and if the casino happens to end up at the racecourse it would add to its uniqueness and provide an interesting and unusual social impact test.“

Small casinos will have a minimum customer area of 750 sq m, up to 80 slot machines and a jackpot of GBP 4,000, under the Gambling Act 2005.

The casino locations still need to be endorsed by Parliament and Wolverhampton City Council would determine the granting of the casino licence.

Mark Elliott, Arena chief executive, said: „We are delighted that this planning application has been submitted.“

„The proposed expansion of facilities will play a crucial role in securing the long-term future of Wolverhampton Racecourse and further enhance its status as a leading racing, conferencing and leisure destination for the West Midlands region.“