Council’s views on casino row

LICENCE proceedings for a new casino in Scarborough will now move on to the next stage, says Scarborough Council.

An appeal by one of the competitors, Nikolas Shaw Ltd, to have rival operator Apollo Leisure excluded on procedural grounds was dismissed by a district judge earlier this week.

Judge Richard Blake upheld a decision by the council’s licensing sub-committee to allow Apollo through to stage two of the process, which means the two rival bidders will now be asked to demonstrate the benefits they can bring to the residents of the borough before a decision is taken on which operator will get the licence.

However, Nikolas Shaw Ltd, who owns the Opera House Casino, were unhappy with the decision and have vowed to pursue the matter at the High Court.

The Shaws appealed the decision of the council’s licensing sub-committee on the grounds that representations from members of the public who opposed the Apollo proposal were dismissed as “irrelevant” by council officers.

The committee also allowed Apollo two weeks to alter its plans at stage one of the application process, which Nikolas Shaw Ltd claim should not have been permitted under the Gambling Act 2005.

Nikolas Shaw said the district judge’s decision “struck a serious blow at the rights of local people to object to one of the new style casinos being built in their community”.

He argues that public objections to Apollo’s application and their objections should not have been thrown out.

Council licensing manager, Una Faithfull, said: “It is in the interests of the residents of Scarborough to begin stage two of the ‘competition’ process where both applicants will be expected to demonstrate how they will contribute to the wellbeing of the area.”