A glittering ceremony marking the eagerly-anticipated launch of Victoria Gate Casino – the largest casino in the north of England and Scotland – has been held in Leeds with thousands enjoying the launch party.
The stunning £30m venue, which is the third-largest casino in the UK, was unveiled tonight (January 26) as Leeds celebrated one of the biggest entertainment venue launches the city has seen in recent years.
Celebrities and sports stars walked the gold carpet for the exclusive event, with Emmerdale and Coronation Street actors making an appearance along with players from Leeds Rhinos.
Andrew Herd, Chief Executive of Global Gaming Ventures – the operator of Victoria Gate Casino – said: “The vision for Victoria Gate Casino has been years in the making but it has been worth the wait to see everyone here celebrating with us tonight.
“Victoria Gate Casino is a stylish, buzzing entertainment hub in the heart of Leeds city centre where everyone from first-time visitors and passers-by to top poker players are catered for.
“It’s a pivotal moment for Leeds to have an entertainment venue on such a grand scale and we’re thrilled to be contributing to the city’s already thriving leisure offering.”
The evening began with a gala invitation-only event for 1,200 VIPs – which included the official ribbon cutting and first spin of the roulette wheel – before the doors opened to the general public at 9pm.
Visitors experienced the casino’s three venues, Live Bar, which has a partnership with Molson Coors, and is the hub of the casino with wall-to-wall, state-of-the-art screens displaying the latest sports and live action.
Curve, the Moët & Chandon-partnered cocktail, champagne and craft beer bar, offers a rotating menu featuring beers from local breweries. While V Restaurant offers an informal brasserie-style setting, using locally-sourced ingredients to create top quality dishes from traditional home favourites to Pan-Asian cuisine.
Mr Herd added: “The casino has already had a positive impact on the region, creating more than 200 jobs – 90 per cent of which have been sourced from within the Leeds City Region.
“We were overwhelmed with responses, receiving more than 5,000 job applications, and it speaks volumes for how keen people are to be a part of such an exciting project.
“We have also worked hard to employ those not in education, training or employment, and help get them back on the career ladder again.”
Councillor James Lewis, Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to help secure so many jobs for people in the Leeds area by working closely with GGV during the casino’s development.
“We have also helped them put in place policies to identify and tackle potential problem gambling and they are taking their responsibilities seriously.
“Victoria Gate is already proving itself to be a great success, attracting many visitors from a wide area and its new casino should prove a further boost to the local economy.”
Robin Dobson, Director of Retail Development at Hammerson, commented: “The launch of Victoria Gate Casino marks another exciting part of Victoria Gate’s debut.
“At its opening in October 2016, the scheme transformed Leeds’ retail offer and today the casino’s arrival provides the city with a unique and vibrant entertainment experience.”
The Victoria Gate Casino sits alongside John Lewis at the top of the city’s new Victoria Gate development.
Victoria Gate Casino in Numbers:
- 30,000,000 – the amount of £s invested in the venue
- 432,000 – the number of beads used to decorate the venue. That’s about 32 kilometres of beads
- 50,000 – the square footage of the venue. That’s the size of approximately 18 tennis courts or about 4/5ths the size of the pitch at Elland Road.
- 5,000+ – the number of people who applied for jobs at the casino
- 205 – the number of full-time jobs created (90% sourced from the Leeds City Region)
- 140 – the number slot machines
- 100 – the number of players that can play a tournament in the poker room
- 21 – the number of 55-inch screens used to build the venue’s huge TV wall in Live Bar
- 82 – the number of other TV screens around the venue
- 75 – the number of electronic gaming terminals
- 29 – the number of cocktails on sale in Curve Bar
- 24 – the number of gaming tables
- 3 – the number of outdoor terraces
- 1.9 – the number of kilometres of carpet used to dress the venue. In weight, that’s just over 8 tonnes