War is being wagered in the West Midlands as a battle for the country’s first Racino gets underway.
Despite protests from a local church who are concerned about vulnerable people being drawn into gambling, Wolverhampton council’s licensing chiefs have granted a planning application for Rubicon Casino to extend their current premises. The building, which is situated on Temple Street, would be expanded into two former nightclubs, creating one hundred local jobs. However, the management at Wolverhampton Racecourse are also vying to build a new casino, which has been dubbed a ‘Racino.’
Parliament is allowing the council to award just one new licence, and the race is now on between Rubicon and the Racecourse to try to convince councillors that they should be given it.
The complaints from Rubicon’s neighbouring church, the All Nations Christian Centre, have not given the council cause for concern though, as they say the casino’s been open since 2004 and “has never been a cause for complaint or concern.” The Christian centre, whose representatives say the extended Rubicon premises would create a “fundamental conflict” between their church’s work and the casino, are said to “disappointed” about the outcome, and will be taking legal advice on what to do next.