As anyone who lives in Swansea will know, there’s very little by way of gaming venues. People often compare the City and County of Swansea to the more populous Cardiff, in which there are three casinos to Swansea’s one.
It has been this way since 2012 – when the city’s largest casino was closed down. The closure was put down to the operation not being commercially viable without the scope granted by a licence – which hadn’t been issued for tender by the local government. However, according to the WalesOnline website, there is still a chance that another casino could set-up shop in Swansea.
For the last five years, it has been impossible for operators to open a new venue in the city, or anywhere, under the council’s jurisdiction, but the ruling restricting this, made in 2014 and extended in 2017, is set to expire in 2020.
An opening at the end of 2020
A couple of years after the closing of Swansea’s biggest gambling venue, the city council opted to lay down a rule which would stop any new casino from getting a licence for three years. The ruling meant that only one casino was left standing in the city, with operators undoubtedly looking to apply for a necessary licence in 2017. However, three years on from the 2014-imposed ban, Swansea decided to extend its rule for another three years.
On 26 October 2017, the City and County of Swansea decided to pass a resolution not to issue casino licenses for another period of three years. The resolution then came into effect on 5 December 2017. Over the three-year period, any application sent to the council was automatically returned. Swansea stands as a licensing authority allowed to issue a Small Casino Premises Licence and, on 5 December 2020, the resolution shall expire and – as it stands – the council will once again consider casino licence applicants.
The state of play in Swansea
By far the largest sector of gambling entertainment in Swansea is the remote sector, with licensed online casinos in the UK being the main attraction. As shown by FeedBACK UK Casino, there are five online platforms which are licensed and trusted in the UK and, due to their availability online and large selections of games, have become the primary casinos in the region.
The only other form of casino in the immediate area is the Grosvenor Casino Swansea. Standing on High Street, people can get the in-person casino experience along with watching live sports. However, it doesn’t have any land-based competition, so anyone who wants to have a casino night out in Swansea has to go to the venue.
Given that the largest casino in Swansea closed down as it was no longer commercially viable, and the online casino industry has gone from strength-to-strength since that time, it is questionable as to whether or not an operator would want to open up shop in the city. That said, competition is always healthy for a sector to experience, particularly in entertainment. Therefore, a new casino that opens up in Swansea will not only try to out-do Grosvenor, but Grosvenor will also be forced to improve its offerings.
There’s a lot to consider for any would-be application, but by the end of 2020, it may be possible for a casino operator to open up a new venue in the area.