Chips are down for UK casinos hit by adversity

The credit crunch has broken the bank at some of Britain’s biggest casinos. In the last 12 months, nine gambling dens have closed their doors – victims of government tax increases, the smoking ban and the worsening economic climate.

Gala Coral, owned by private equity firms Permira, Candover and Cinven, has shut four casinos, including its upmarket haunt in London’s Picadilly Circus.

Genting Stanley has shut two in Liverpool and Manchester and axed 400 staff. It is currently in a pay dispute with the GMB union.

Genting Stanley executive deputy chairman Peter Brooks said: ‚These closures, and I fear there will be more to follow, are stark evidence of the pressures faced by the industry in the UK to which the government has made a significant contribution, not least with last year’s large tax hike.‘

But while UK casinos and bingo halls are struggling, there is evidence that bookmakers are increasing their revenue. William Hills recently saw a 9 per cent surge in its last quarter.