‘Adult gaming centre’ which took over former Tui travel agent in South Shields bids for 24-hour opening
Last year, plans by Cashino Gaming Ltd to set up an adult arcade at the site, operating under the Merkur Slots brand, were approved by South Tyneside Council.
The firm, which took over the former the Tui travel agency store, offers low stakes slot machines, bingo machines and tablets where customers can “spend their spare change, have a game of bingo and enjoy their favourite pastime”.
The original bid had though permission for 24-hour opening, but this was rejected by council planners after Northumbria Police raised concerns.
Officers feared the premises becoming a “focal point for the street community” and approved opening hours were instead set at 8am to midnight, Monday to Sunday, to support the “prevention of crime and disorder in the local area”.
Earlier this month, however, Merkur Slots Ltd (UK) lodged a new application with the borough’s planning department asking for this condition to be “removed” to extend opening hours to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A covering letter submitted on behalf of the firm states midnight is a “very early closing time for a leisure use that relies on evening / night-time trade”.
The supporting planning statement adds: “The amendment sought will enable one of Merkur Slot’s key customer base to benefit from the offer and service provided by the adult gaming centre.
“The evening / late-night customer base is predominantly shift workers looking to relax after evening shifts.”
The covering letter claimed assessments had shown there would be no “harmful impacts” on surrounding area.
It also states Merkur adult gaming centres are “well-run premises, that do not attract and/or generate noise impacts and disturbance” and that no noise complaints have been made since the King Street centre opened in 2021.
In addition, planning documents confirm a member of staff would be “available at all times to ensure customers respect the surrounding amenities of residents”.
A decision on the planning application for 24-hour opening hours will be made following a council consultation.
For more information on the planning bid, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0547/22/VC