Plans submitted for electronic 'bingo' hall in town centre

Plans have been submitted by a gambling chain to open a ‘bingo games’ premises in Doncaster town centre.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 6:00 am
A branch of Merkur Slots

Gambling firm Merkur Gaming under the umbrella of the Praesepe group, wants to open a premises at 37-39 St Sepulchre Gate and councillors will decide whether or not to award the site a licence this week.

All bingo games will be played electronically on tablets and machines. The premises will have capacity for 31 players at one time and can join other games hosted by other venues across the country.

Gaming bosses said these types of electronic bingo games were replacing older larger centres that were well attended in the past.

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The company said the games played will offer maximum payouts of £500 for a £2 stake, £100 for a £1 stake and £5 for a 10 pence stake.

The venue will operate a ‘Think 25’ policy and a person who looks under the age of 25 will have to produce a form of photo ID.

Documents provided to councillors outlines that bingo is available for play from 9am until midnight.

The company said benefits to a Merkur site in Doncaster provide jobs for six to 12 people depending on the scale of the operation and investment between £100,000 to £250,000 in ‘long-standing vacant venues’.

South Yorkshire Police were consulted as part of the proposal but raised no concerns with the plans.

The firm spent £200,000 renovating their Merkur Cashino site on High Street in February 2020 with a full refurb and installation of a soft drinks bar. The company also has a site in Mexborough.

Lisa Kennedy, internal auditor for Merkur Gaming, said: “I have worked in the gaming industry for 16 years and as bingo manager for five years. My work covers Merkur Slots on High Street in Doncaster and usually visit twice a year.

“I have not encountered any issues during my visits which have been during daylight hours and throughout the night.

“I have spent time driving and walking the area to build the required information and I am confident that a venue in this location would not present any particular risk.”

Councillors on the sub-licensing committee will decide on the application at a hearing on Friday, March 19.

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