Alea Leeds venue closure to cost 99 jobs

London Clubs International (LCI), owner of Alea Leeds venue, announced the casino complex had ceased trading on 4 March.

A statement on the company’s website said it had “reluctantly taken this decision following continued difficult trading conditions at the Clarence Dock development. We are grateful to our staff and suppliers who worked hard to deliver a great entertainment venue and thank them following this difficult decision”. 
 
The closure followed the company’s decision to withdraw from the race to run a large casino in the city.

LCI said the decision to withdraw from the licensing process highlighted “frustrations with the pace of change within the UK gaming industry”.

The closure affects 99 jobs at Alea Leeds, including in the events department, and a redundancy consultation programme has started.

The Alea closure also affects the The Leeds Kitchen and The Bird by Vineet outlets inside the venue.

Roy Ramm, Governance and Public Affairs Director at LCI, blamed the closure on “failure of successive governments to provide or seek to provide a fair regulatory and commercially viable operating environment for the terrestrial casino industry”.

LCI made a significant investment into Alea when it opened in 2008 but additional investment sought by the Council in order to win the new licence appears to have created a financial burden that was unsustainable.

The casino licence on offer from Leeds City Council is one of eight available across the country and will have a minimum area of 1,000sqm and up to 150 slot machines with a maximum jackpot of £4,000.  

Alea Leeds’s withdrawal leaves two competitors left: Leeds United and Global Gaming Ventures.

The closure is a blow to Clarence Dock where most retail outlets now lie empty.

A Leeds Council spokeswoman admitted the closure of Alea was “bad news for the city”.
 
Do you have news for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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