Casino is part of million pound plans

NEW multi-million pound plans to improve the leisure industry in Felixstowe will include a casino.It has now emerged that the proposed redevelopment of the Palace bingo and cinema building in Felixstowe does include a casino and a cinema, although these are not detailed in the latest planning application.

NEW multi-million pound plans to improve the leisure industry in Felixstowe will include a casino.

It has now emerged that the proposed redevelopment of the Palace bingo and cinema building in Felixstowe does include a casino and a cinema, although these are not detailed in the latest planning application.

Patrick Duffy, managing director of owners Palatial Leisure, said it would in the future include a casino, which would not need planning permission only a gaming licence.

"At this stage, we have taken out the word casino because it caused people a lot of anxiety and it doesn't need planning permission," he said.


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"We are also still waiting for details from the government of de-regulation and what casino games a bingo hall will be allowed to operate.

"But if we do have a casino in the future, it will not be like those in London and will certainly not open until 4am – there would be no need for a venture of that kind in Felixstowe and our market is very different.

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"De-regulation of the gaming industry will mean Ipswich, Colchester, Bury St Edmunds and every town will have a casino.

"Our concern is that Felixstowe will be able to have one as well – not just to attract people to the resort, but more importantly to keep business here and stop people leaving the town to seek their entertainment elsewhere,'' said Mr Duffy.

Architects had examined comments made by planners at Suffolk Coastal about the previous scheme and tried to address their concerns.

The scheme, to be phased, will include a 52-bedroom hotel, health and fitness club, bars, restaurant and a bingo/entertainments complex. Mr Duffy said there would be a single-screen cinema, which could be adapted for conference use.

Nearly 200 protests were received against a casino when the first plans were unveiled. They were withdrawn and a revised scheme was submitted this month.

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