Posted: Tue 4th Oct 2022

Plans for adult gaming premises in city centre approved for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 4th, 2022

A former music and DVD shop in Wrexham will soon be converted into an adult gaming centre.

It comes after plans to convert That’s Entertainment, on Regent Street, were given the go ahead by a majority of councillors at a meeting last night (Monday 3 October).

Gaming company Merkur Slots, which is behind the application, put forward the proposals for the long-term empty property in the city centre earlier this year.

A licence for the facility to operate has already been granted by Wrexham Council, however permission was required for the installation of new signage and a change of use.

Speaking at a planning meeting last night a representative for the company explained that the facility will provide bingo and slot machines.

Mr Collins, planning consultant to Merkur Slots, said: “My client’s adult gaming centers are where the people come to spend their spare change, have a game of bingo and enjoy their favourite pastime in convenient locations.

“Furthermore adult gaming centres do not provide fixed odds betting terminals, which is synonymous with betting shops. This is reflected in the average customer stake which is 30 to 40 pence.

“If a market demand did not exist for this type of use obviously my client would not be seeking to locate here.

“Diversification and choice are key aspirations of local and national policies.

“It is accepted that there is sometimes a misconception as to how adult gaming centers operating practice. It is important to understand that adult gaming centers and not noisy uses, the games appeal to individuals not groups of people.

“Adult gaming centers are also strictly controlled in the way they operate. They do not serve alcohol and the operate a think 25 entrance policy.”

However concerns were raised by some councillors over the 24/7 opening hours of the premises.

Cllr Graham Rogers, said: “If it is then I’m totally opposed to it because we’ve got to consider people who’ve got gambling issues.

“And if we support the application I believe we’re on the road to collision.”

These concerns were shared by Cllr Dana Davies, who said she would be voting against the application.

Cllr Davies said: “I think we have to consider that we’ve got residents living in the town centre as well.

“We’re looking for that mixed accommodation versus economy in the town centre, so for 24 hour but I’ll be voting against.”

However it was pointed out to the committee that a licence for the opening hours had already been granted and that the nearby McDonald’s also operated 24 hours a day.

Cllr Frank Hemmings moved the recommendation to grant the application, stating: “Based on the fact that firstly, this council has issued a license to this company I think we would struggle to say no based on that fact.

“Also the confirmation that there will be no fixed odds betting in the premises, that gives me comfort in the fact that people aren’t going to go in there and lose hundreds of pounds.

“So based on those facts, I would move officers recommendation to both both applications.”

The applications were approved with a majority of councillors voting in favour of the change of use, with two voting against.

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