Grosvenor Casinos puts chips on key Glasgow site with £3.5m revamp

Grosvenor Casinos has announced that it is gambling on expanding its Glasgow Merchant City venue with an investment of at least £3.5 million to create more than a dozen jobs and a “world-class” entertainment hub.

The business, which says it is the largest UK casino operator with 52 branches nationwide, said the Merchant City casino on Glassford Street will be transformed into a modern destination including a new bar and restaurant with 70 covers.

Construction is also under way to revamp the gaming offer at the casino with upgraded tables and electronic roulette terminals, while also on the cards is a “premium” viewing area to watch live sport, with feature wall screens where customers can watch and bet live under one roof.

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Grosvenor said it selected Merchant City as its flagship proof-of-concept venue, as the firm looks to “modernise its appeal and create an entertainment-for-all-offer, which breaks down perceptions of the traditional casino experience”.

It added that upgrading the site, which it says is one of the group’s best-performing venues outside London, is creating 13 jobs including head chef, three commis chefs, a gaming host, and three trainee dealers, and it is due to launch with a series of official events from Thursday June 30, with the official launch event taking place on Saturday July 2.

The venue’s general manager Debbie Johnston said: “We’re excited to be creating a world-class entertainment venue which will offer guests an experience like no other, with a real focus on gaming, dining and sports viewing, all in a vibrant atmosphere.

“Glasgow’s hospitality sector was hard hit during the pandemic, but Grosvenor Casino’s major investment in Merchant City shows there is real confidence in the city’s recovery.”

The planned look for the new venue, which Grosvenor says aims to 'create an entertainment-for-all offer which breaks down perceptions of the traditional casino experience'. Picture: contributed.

The casino last year revealed that it was running a four-week gaming academy, including training on blackjack, poker and roulette, with the offer of full-time employment if participants qualified. It also said the academy would focus on educating team members about the importance of ensuring all guests always play responsibly.

Group

Grosvenor’s other venues in Scotland include Aberdeen, Dundee, and Maybury in Edinburgh as well as a Glasgow Riverboat site. The firm is part of London-listed The Rank Group that also owns Mecca, saying it is the largest bingo operator by venues in Britain, as well as several online gambling brands.

The group in January reported that its group interim underlying net gaming revenue amounted to £333.5 million, a year-on-year jump of 90 per cent, with digital business sales up 7 per cent, and it swung to a profit after taxation of £84.6m from a loss of £48.6m.

Group chief executive John O’Reilly said at the time: “We have strengthened the balance sheet and, with the return to profitability and cash-generation, we have been able to accelerate our transformation programme to drive faster revenue growth as restrictions are lifted.

"There remains some uncertainty as to how Covid-19 will impact our businesses over the coming months, but we are accelerating our transformation investments and are competitively very well-placed to benefit as consumers emerge from the pandemic.”

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