Scarborough’s £250,000 Casino Investment

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In January 2019, the Opera House Casino announced the expansion of its offering following a £250,000 cash injection.

Located on St Thomas Street, on the former site of Scarborough’s iconic Opera House Theatre, The Opera House Casino opened its doors in October 2005 after an initial £7m investment. The announcement of the casino’s expansion comes alongside the activation of the 2005 Small Casino Licence; the Act dictates that the small casino has a minimum table gaming area of 500 square metres as well as a minimum non-gambling area of 250 square metres. The Opera House Casino is the only casino in the north of England to operate this licence.

The investment will substantially increase the casino’s offering in some exciting ways. More gaming will become available to visitors, including 50% more slot machines (the Opera House Casino already boats the biggest selection of slots in the area) to become more in line with online competition such as established slot games providers King Casino. There will also be a new food and drink menu, the addition of a private gaming area on the first floor as well as a 140-capacity private event space named The Upper Circle. The investment has already resulted in more employment opportunities; Jacqui Edwards has been brought on as the new Assistant General Manager for the venue, which currently employs 100 people.

Steve Mosely, current Managing Director at the Opera House Casino said: “The investment and activation of the new casino license enables the team to take another step in the evolution of the famous venue in the town and will allow us to increase our gaming and entertainment choice for our customers.

“We will be supporting the new offer with an engagement campaign and new menu, as well as supporting the Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District (BID),” he added.

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Good news for Yorkshire

The £250,000 investment into the Opera House Casino Scarborough will be welcomed by the Yorkshire region. Scarborough is already a popular entertainment destination with tourists visiting from both the UK and abroad. As well as it’s famous beaches, bars and arcades, it is home to the largest European Outdoor Stadium — the recent host to the award-winning singer and performer Britney Spears, who played across six cities in the UK.

While gambling is already extremely popular in the region, the expansion of the casino’s offering is much-needed; it will ensure that Scarborough not only remains a strong attraction, but also safeguard many land-based venues from competition online at websites like King Casino.

Clive Rowe-Evans, Chairman of the Task Group at the Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District (BID) commented: “It is good news for the coastal region and it’s important we continue to invest in our entertainment and leisure sector for both residents and visitors in Scarborough and the Yorkshire Coast. We welcome the expanded offer and ongoing investment by the Opera House Casino.”

The draw of online casino games

More and more people than ever are forgoing land-based casinos for online gambling. The UK Gambling Commission from 2019 revealed that out of a total £14.5bn Gross Gambling Yield (GGY), £5.6 billion came from the remote sector — a 2.9% increase from 2018.

One of the biggest perks of online casino games – which has also had a direct impact on their popularity – has been the fast advancement of technology over the past 30 years. There are currently 2.71 billion smartphone users in the world in 2019; this accounts for an astounding 35.13% of the world’s population.

As more people can access the internet through their smartphones – as well as tablets, laptops and iPads – the more opportunities they have to play their favourite casino games online — whether that’s at home, during a commute or out with friends. The accessibility factor is a massive perk for fans of casino games; it saves travel time, for example. And unlike many land-based casinos, most casino websites are open 24/7, seven days a week.

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Another advantage to online-casinos over their land-based counterparts in the quality – and quantity – of the games available. Online casinos don’t have the same limitations as land-based ones, which means there are many, many options for their players when it comes to gaming. This includes both regulatory restrictions (like those dictated by the 2005 Small Casino License) as well as physical restrictions — like spatial capacity, for both visitors and staff as well as the games.

Also, while land-based casino games remain enjoyable for players around the world, advancements in technology have meant that online casino games have become more exciting, and complex, over time. Because of the increasingly large revenue from the remote gambling sector, there is more competition than ever from gaming developers and publishers.

To get an edge on the competition, these companies work very hard to ensure their games as high quality as possible, using incredible graphics, animations and sound — as well as utilising new developments from the world of both Augmented and Virtual Reality. This makes the experience of playing games online almost as good as it is in real life; and in fact, can make them an entirely different – and potentially better – experience for those who play them.

A good move for the region

The £250,000 investment in the Opera House Casino is great news — not only for Scarborough and Yorkshire as a region, but for land-based casinos as a whole. As a younger generation are drawn into the world of online casinos, having access to an exciting and revitalised land-based counterpart may help stave off some of the online competition.

While there are so many amazing perks to playing casino games online, brick and mortar casinos can continue to entertain people around the world by investing in their offering. The atmosphere, the food and drinks, the diverse individuals you encounter while playing in real life, is yet to be fully recreated by online casino websites. There remains space for both to thrive in the marketplace; the investment in the Opera House Casino is evidence that there’s still demand for a brick and mortar casino experience.

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