New gaming and slot machine venue opens in South Shields' King Street
Gaming company MERKUR Slots has opened its new ‘entertainment centre’ on King Street in South Shields.
Work is now complete on the conversion, and MERKUR said the new opening is part of a nationwide programme that will see the company invest more than £10million on UK high streets over the next six-months.
Mark Schertle, chief operating officer of MERKUR Slots’ parent company MERKUR Casino UK, said: “We pride ourselves on our continued investment in UK high streets, and so it means a lot to be able to support the local community and economy in South Shields through the creation of these new jobs.
"Every new venue we open creates an average of 10 new local jobs and we are well on course to create 500 jobs nationwide by the end of the year.”
Mr Schertle said the King Street venue features the latest bingo and digital slot machines, with the emphasis firmly on low stake gaming and pay-outs ranging from £5 to £500, and an extensive library of new and classic games.
Customers also receive unlimited free refreshments.
He said: “Our aim with this new state-of-the-art entertainment centre is to give both new and existing customers a unique gaming experience in an environment that reflects the scale of the investment.
“I’m sure those visiting over the next few days and weeks will be as excited about this new MERKUR Slots venue as I am.”
According to a planning statement from the applicant back in February, the centre would not offer fixed-term betting terminals normally associated with betting shops.
Instead, it was said it aimed to provide a place for people to “spend their spare change, have a game of bingo and enjoy their favourite pastime.”
A proposed 24-hour-opening bid was scaled back after Northumbria Police raised concerns during a council consultation.
The force’s neighbourhood inspector said the premises could become a “gathering point” which could lead to antisocial behaviour.