Great Yarmouth casino set to open all hours

A GREAT Yarmouth casino will be launching a new 24-hour opening policy next week with fireworks and balloons filled with cash prizes.

From Monday, the Palace Casino, in Church Plain, will be the first in the area to be open all hours of day and night. The move comes alongside efforts by Grosvenor Casino, on Marine Parade, to extend its opening hours from 6am to 8am.

Daryn Ferguson, manager at Palace Casino said plans to extend the opening hours had been in the pipeline for some time, and would give new opportunities to the area’s “night economy” to visit.

He claimed it was the first of its kind in the region, and said: “It is all doom and gloom at the moment but there are always people that want entertainment, and there is a night-time economy that this is catered towards.

“We have found we have people up until the end of our normal opening hours and still using our facilities, so it makes sense.”

The casino will mark the change in style, with fireworks joining the launch of balloons, with tokens totalling “thousands of pounds” inside that can be exchanged for cash or a donation to charity.

Initially granted a licence for 24-hour opening in 2009, the casino was previously open from noon to 6am.

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It will offer its range of entertainment, including poker, blackjack and roulette as well as food over the new hours, though whether bar hours will be extended remains unclear.

The new opening hours will also run alongside the casino’s current online offering, which links the virtual world through to its real world gambling halls.

Currently both the Palace Casino and The Edge, a development proposed as part of a major boost of an area near the Outer Harbour, are being considered by the borough council for a Las Vegas-style Large Casino licence.

An advisory panel is looking at the applications, with a decision expected early next year.

Mr Ferguson said the move to 24 hours came in the context of opportunities offered by the possibility of a Large Casino.

He added: “There will always be some negative reaction and I would understand if people had those feelings, but I very much think it is a positive thing.

“It is adding to the Great Yarmouth offer, and the casino is not a place that attracts grief - it attracts a discerning customer who I think we would want in the area.”

Andrew Cleveland, operations manager for NORCAS, a charity which operates in Yarmouth and helps those with addictions, including gambling, said: “As with all sections of the gambling industry, NORCAS asks operators of casinos to encourage responsible practice and recognise issues with problematic gambling.”