All five applicants competing for the large casino licence in Southampton have been approved for the final phase of the bidding process despite city councillors meant to have been whittling the candidates down.
The chosen operator will be announced in June 2015. Grosvenor, Kymeira Casino, Genting, Global Gaming Ventures and Aspers are the five bidders making up seven applications.
Large casinos can house up to 150 slot machines with Aspers already opening large licence in Newham and Milton Keynes. The favoured site in Southampton is believed to be Royal Pier although two of the seven bids are at other locations.
Global Gaming Ventures wants to develop at the Watermark WestQuay whilst Grosvenor wants to build at the Leisureworld complex in West Quay Road.
Committee chairman Matt Tucker said: “We looked at whether they met the criteria of our licensing objectives for the super-casino, and all of them satisfied the broad criteria. One of the criteria we have laid down is that no-one will be able to look into the casino from outside to see gambling going on. We also want them to adopt a Challenge 25 policy to mitigate concerns people might have. It’s now the responsibility of the committee and myself as chairman to determine which one ultimately gets the licence.”