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UK – Leeds to set up poverty fund via Partouche casino

By - 30 August 2013

Leeds City Council is considering setting up a fund to support those in poverty, using money generating from granting a casino licence earlier this year.

The council is proposing a new Social Inclusion Fund using the £1m generated from granting a casino licence to Global Gaming Ventures Ltd (GGV). As part of the agreement, the council also receives an annual payment of £450,000 or four per cent of net gaming revenue.

Richard Lewis, executive member for economy and development, said: ‘The establishment of a Social Inclusion Fund provides a timely boost to our anti-poverty agenda at a time when on-going and unprecedented funding cuts, the economic downturn and substantial changes to the welfare system are contributing to growing concerns about the social and economic exclusion of vulnerable people in the city. As well as enabling us to create this much needed social inclusion fund the new casino will provide a major boost to the local economy. The leisure economy already attracts thousands of visitors to Leeds, and this new large casino at Victoria Gate will add an extra dimension to the existing popular attractions in the city.’

Members of the council’s executive board will consider the proposals next week. Leeds City Council’s licensing committee granted a provisional statement for a large casino licence to Global Gaming Ventures who wants to open a new casino as part of the Victoria Gate development scheme. GGV is partnering with French operator Partouche. The Victoria Gate development, which will eventually be home to West Yorkshire’s biggest ever casino, won out over a proposal to bring a casino to Leeds United’s Elland Road ground. The 50,000 sq ft  casino will sit above the shops that will form the first phase of the £130m development, which is due to open in 2016. Leeds is one of only eight local authorities in the UK selected to approve a large casino licence. It will have a minimum area of 1,000 sq. m. and up to 150 slot machines with a maximum jackpot of £4,000.

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