Rank’s Southend Casino is a safe bet


The Essex Echo reports that plans  for a new 24-hour casino in Southend’s Park Inn Palace Hotel are set to get the go-ahead.

Planning officers at Southend Council have recommended the bid by Rank Group to convert two floors of the iconic hotel into an around-the-clock gambling complex is approved.

The final decision will be made by the authority’s development control committee at its meeting on Wednesday.

In a report for councillors, Andrew Lewis, corporate director of enterprise, tourism and the environment, said: “The proposal will bring into use a part of the Palace Hotel that has remained vacant since refurbishment of the building.

“It is considered the use of the premises as a casino would meet the objective of promoting economic regeneration and, therefore, the proposed casino use is considered to be acceptable in principle.”

If the plans are approved, it would be the end of a lengthy hunt for a new casino site in Southend.

Rank already had a licence to open one at its Mecca Bingo venue, on Greyhound Retail Park, but despite spending £2million revamping the premises, decided to overlook it in favour of the Palace.

The new casino would feature an open-air terrace overlooking the seafront, as well as a bar, restaurant and a television lounge showing sports events.

It would be positioned on the building’s two lower ground floors – beneath the main hotel, but above the row of empty shops on Pier Hill.

Sound-proofing systems would be installed to prevent hotel customers being kept awake by the noise from the casino.

It would also have a separate entrance in Church Road, near the existing lifts to the top-floor Skyline penthouse flats.

The move has been welcomed by the hotel’s manager, Roderick Smith, and the building’s owner ,Yianis.

However, even if planning permission is granted, Rank will still need to secure a new permit from the Gambling Commission, as well as an alcohol licence from Southend Council, before it can open the venue.

Comments (1)

Add Your Comment

Pls could you tell me when the casino on pier hill will be ready, my 78 year old dad would love to know, regards Lisa Stewart

Opening when
22/06/2014, 18:20

Add Your Comment

* Required field. All comments are reviewed before appearing.

Get our newsletter