TWO firms have moved a step closer to opening a casino in Solihull – despite concerns from residents about a rise in anti-social behaviour.
Genting UK and Grosvenor Casinos are battling it out for the license to build a large casino, which will be awarded by Solihull Council.
Last Wednesday, the licensing committee told the companies that both of them had met the criteria, and that both will go on to the next stage of the process. Both companies will now argue the merits of their application, with the local authority deciding between them.
For Genting UK, the casino would be the centre-piece of a £90m leisure complex based at the NEC.
Grosvenor – who have been more secretive about their proposals – would put the casino at the former Dave & Busters site, in Shirley.
Dr Issam Ghannam, from the Solihull Faiths Forum, warned that a casino could bring an increase in crime and violence.
He pointed to research carried out in the USA, which studied how communities had been affected by similar developments.
Stephen Walsh, from Grosvenor, argued that there were rigorous checks – which required customers to show photo ID, and proof of their address.
“We operate a strict policy when allowing members in. It is a rigorous procedure,” he told the meeting.
Councillor Alan Nash, chairman of the licensing committee, said that the firms had sufficiently answered the concerns of residents.