The fate of Middlesbrough’s super casino looks to be in doubt after the city’s mayor said it’s “unlikely” developers or investors will double down on the ambitious project.
According to report by Gazette Live, Mayor Dave Budd is less than optimistic when it comes to the future of the £32 million project. In contrast, however, the local council was quick to put out a statement countering Budd’s move and asserted that the project isn’t completely out of luck.
Two Years on and No Progress
Jomast, the developer initially slated to work on the glittering casino project, is currently still in negotiations with a number of operators, but there is a definite undercurrent of optimism that a deal simply won’t get done.
At present the rundown site at Gurney House is nothing more than an eyesore for those in and around Middlesbrough town centre and Jomast believes a new super casino complex would benefit the community as a whole.
However, it’s now been two years since Jomast’s planned start date and, with gamers increasingly looking to ante-up online, it’s looking increasingly unlikely the development will move forward before the close of 2015.
Cultural Shift Among Casino Fans
One of the biggest problems for Jomast could be the growth of the online casino industry. Over the last decade, online casino sites have become big business not just in the UK, but around the globe.
From parts of Europe and countries such as Germany, France and Norway, to North American regions, including Canada, virtual gaming has given canny punters a new, more lucrative, way to play casino games.
Indeed, thanks to digital dealers that don’t get tired, gifts such as the guts casino bonus that give players free money and impressive security provisions including random number generators, online casinos are now seen as the most profitable way to ante-up.
Another sign of the apparent downturn on brick and mortar gaming is the recent job losses in Blackpool. Despite traditionally being a hub for casino gaming, the city’s Sam Tai casino was forced to let go of 50 members of staff and close its doors back in April.
While a number of factors contributed to the demise of the venue, the continued growth of the iGaming industry is thought to have been one of many nails in Sam Tai’s coffin.
The £32 Million Gamble
With consumers across the world continuing to move their interests online and on mobile, the attitude towards live ventures, such as casinos, is beginning to change. People now want instant access, less waiting and more bang for their buck; something that can only happen in the virtual arena. Unfortunately, for developers such as Jomast and Middlesbrough council, this sort of cultural shift is a potentially damaging one.
However, despite a current lack of confidence surrounding the project in Middlesbrough, Jomast is still optimistic it will secure the necessary partnerships to begin construction. A recent show of interest from the Premier Inn hotel chain is the latest glimmer of hope for the casino developer, but whether this will be enough to persuade everyone involved to gamble £32 million on the project remains to be seen.