What once was one of the largest casinos in the region could be making a return as Birmingham-based Genting UK assesses the future of its Aston property, which could see a new, smaller scale casino operation including a restaurant, according to local news agency Birmingham Post.
In January it was reported that Genting Club Star City was closing, and as a result, approximately 220 jobs were lost. Touted at the time as the future of British casinos, the Aston casino opened in 2003, only to close 13 years later. The casino had been experiencing a drop-off in business in the years preceding its closing and had reduced its size and entertainment offerings as a result. To exacerbate matters, in 2015, the casino was hit with the opening of another Genting casino when Genting Malaysia Berhad (MYX:4715), parent company to Genting UK and Genting New York, opened its twelve-story 540,000 square feet Resorts World Birmingham in October. The complex located at the national Exhibit Center (NEC) in Solihull is the largest casino in the United Kingdom and has 13 restaurants, spa, cinema, 7 bars, 43 shops, conference center, and a four-star hotel and is considered a rival to Star City.
Genting still holds the lease on the building in Birmingham and, according to the news agency, is working with the property’s landlord, Quadrant Estates, to find alternative uses for the space that is vacant there. Currently, space within the building is being utilized by staff in Birmingham and Liverpool for administrative functions, but the company is also considering new uses.
A planning application recently filed by Genting suggests that a casino smaller than the previous Club Star City could open on the ground floor of the building, where gaming tables from the defunct casino still occupy the space and are being used for training croupiers. Additionally, a report accompanying the application indicates that a new restaurant could also be in the works.
A spokesman for the company said “At this stage, we are considering a number of different possible options for the building in question,” as reported by the news agency.
Genting UK is part of the Genting Group and operates over 40 casinos located from Edinburgh to Plymouth, including two brands in the provincial areas; Genting Casino and Genting Club, and two casinos in Birmingham city center, Genting Casino Coventry, and Genting Casino Edgbaston.