At a brief licensing committee meeting this afternoon councillors announced that after two days of discussions (and six years of planning) the licence to run the casino had been awarded to Global Gaming Ventures (GGV) ahead of a rival bid from Leeds United Football Club.
What is Leeds City Council getting in return for the licence to host up to 150 slot machines with a maximum jackpot of £4,000?
- An upfront payment of £1m
- annual payments of £450,000 or 4 per cent of the casino’s net gaming revenue, whichever is bigger
Which means that if the casino’s net gaming revenue is £25m, we’ll get £1m.
There’s a commitment too that 90% of the at least 205 jobs to be created will go to residents of the “Leeds city region” (not just people from Leeds), that there’ll be apprenticeships, and openings for NEETS (young people who are not in education, employment or training) – at least in the first year the casino is open.
“Social inclusion fund”
There’s also going to be money – “significant funds” – from the casino operator for a council-run “social inclusion fund” that’s going to pay for “activities to mitigate any potential harmful effects of the operation of a large casino”.
The details of the social inclusion fund haven’t been worked out yet.
GGV are also going to fund a “Leeds Responsible Gambling Forum”, set up an “Impact Committee” (to monitor the impact of the casino) and make sure that their marketing campaigns don’t target the most deprived parts of the city.
Once the new Victoria Gate development is built, Global Gaming Ventures will have to come back formally and get the council to rubber stamp today’s decision.
Developers Hammerson are expected to submit plans for the £130m shopping and leisure centre next month, with construction due to start next year and be complete by 2016.
Check the council’s press release here.