Leeds casino opening on hold

The opening of a GBP 13m showpiece casino built in Leeds has been delayed for at least nine months.

London Clubs International took four years to develop a four-storey building at Clarence Dock into a „new generation“ Alea casino featuring two restaurants, three bars, a conference centre and 50-seat cinema.

Due to open in December last year, its doors have remained closed and now the company says it hopes to open the venue in September.

Meanwhile, two managers who were originally employed at the site have been laid off and other staff relocated to casinos in Manchester and Nottingham.

Maria Slater, of London Clubs International, confirmed the company was now looking towards a September opening.

She said the casino was a big part of the wider Clarence Dock development that included bars, restaurants, shops, apartments and offices.

Ms Slater said: „Had we opened last year there would not have been as many shops and bars and retail there and it would have been more difficult for us, so that played a part in our decision.

„The casino development we have got at Clarence Dock is one of our largest with incredible facilities. It’s pretty much finished and an important part of the business.“

In previewing the complex which is near the Royal Armouries Museum, the company said it would „change the face of gaming“ in Leeds.

Meanwhile, Leeds has been chosen as the site for one of eight large casinos sanctioned by the Government, although any development, should it take place, is still some years off.