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Casino owner's £35m leisure plans

PUBLISHED: 13:14 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 July 2010

North Quay casino

North Quay casino

THE owner of Great Yarmouth's newest casino has drawn up plans for a £35m leisure development which would spread from Church Plain and along The Conge to North Quay.

THE owner of Great Yarmouth's newest casino has drawn up plans for a £35m leisure development which would spread from Church Plain and along The Conge to North Quay.

Patrick Duffy is proposing to transform the rundown area with a 75-bedroom hotel with five five-star suites, a conference centre, shops and leisure facilities including a multiplex cinema and ten-pin bowling.

Last night, the Palace Casino off Market Place - and on the site of the old Tesco store - was officially opened with Mr Duffy predicting up to 75,000 visitors a year.

Sited next to the existing Palace Bingo, the casino has taken the investment of Mr Duffy in the site to more than £9m in five years and create a further 70 jobs on top of the 35 already at the Church Plain complex.

And Mr Duffy, who launched his £25m business empire 12 years ago with a bingo club in Gorleston High Street, has declared himself in the running for the town's long-awaited large casino licence.

Pleasure Beach managing director Albert Jones has already thrown in his hat for the licence, with his consortium unveiling plans for a £35m casino and leisure complex called The Edge on disused South Denes.

Mr Duffy said to meet the space criteria for a large casino he would simply have to knock down two walls between the present bingo and casino clubs.

He said the scheme was not dependent on any consortium and could proceed even if the government turned its back on large casinos.

“I have already built the casino,” he said.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Where do you think a casino should go? Mr Duffy's proposed site, or Mr Jones' South Denes site? Or what about somewhere else? Write to Letters at The Mercury, 25 Regent Street, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 1RQ or email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk

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