Brand New Casino Coming To Manchester
|Published: 20th September 2020 14:00|
It wasn't so long ago that Manchester was short of casinos for such a large and vibrant city. Those of you with long memories will remember that the city was earmarked as the building ground for a Las Vegas style 'super casino' during the time of the last Labour government in the UK, before then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown squashed the idea and withdrew permission for such facilities to be built anywhere in the country. Since then, the city has been making do with what it's got, which hasn't been to the satisfaction of all of the city's gamblers and late-night revelers.
Although there are one or two chain casinos in Manchester, the biggest and most successful of all the casinos in the city center at the moment is arguably Manchester 235, which is probably most famous for being the place that former Manchester United captain allegedly blew half a million pounds in a two-hour gambling spree several years ago. With its late license, fine restaurant, expansive floor space, and an array of tables, slot machines, and roulette wheels, it's been the go-to place for those in the city who wants to chance their arms on games of luck or cards, but very soon it's going to find itself facing stiff, new competition.
Opening a brand new real-world casino facility in 2020 is, if you'll excuse the gambling pun, far from a safe bet. Quite aside from the fact that not as many people can currently go outside to visit such venues as their owners would ideally like, casinos are in a constant state of competition with online slots websites, which dominate the market and capture a larger share of it year on year. Without being limited by floor space, UK slots website can offer hundreds of games in one place and don't have to charge an entry fee to do it. Over time, they've evolved from just offering to online slots to offering what many would consider a full casino experience. You'll find live-action card games and roulette wheels at the best online slots these days, and real-world casinos have to be ultra-competitive on pricing and attractions to keep up. That hasn't stopped someone from trying, though. Buoyed by their success across Yorkshire with venues in Sheffield, Leeds, Hull, and Bradford, Napoleon's Casino has crossed the Pennines to take on a new premises on Portland Street.
Based on all the information we've seen so far, this new casino means business. It's understood that eight million pounds have been spent on its development, and more than one hundred new jobs have been created in the process. Like Manchester 235, Napoleon's sees itself as a restaurant as well as a casino, and also offers a full cocktail bar at the same time for those who just want to grab a drink and something to eat before heading elsewhere in town. After several months spent redeveloping the building they're moving into, the people behind Napoleon's are now preparing to open their doors for the first time on September 24th.
In another move that will put them in head-to-head competition with Manchester 235, Napoleon's has obtained a 24-hour license to operate. That means its range of slots, e-roulette, roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, Mahjong, and Punto Banco games will be available every hour of every day, all year round. It won't open until 11 pm on its first day, but from that moment on, it won't close its doors again until Christmas Day if everything goes as planned, and the Government doesn't order any such premises to shut their doors again for safety reasons. Aside from having a well-positioned building on Portland Street from which to attract passing trade, Napoleon's will also have the advantage of having parking spaces available - something that's lacking at most other rival casinos. To add to the sense of prestige that Napoleon's is attempting to provide, valet parking will be available to anybody who visits in the evening - although those who arrive during daylight hours will have to fend for themselves when parking their cars.
The restaurant at Napoleon's is described euphemistically in the venue's promotional materials as a 'luxury private dining room,' from which the whole gaming area can be observed. The cocktail bar will be open to people from outside the casino - presumably with the intention that once they've been tempted in to buy a few cocktails, they might be persuaded to try their hand at a few of the games as well. Those in charge of the opening of the casino have described the cocktail bar as a 'focal point' for the whole premises, although as we're yet to see any photos of the interior, we don't know what this means in practical terms.
The opening of the casino marks another step along the road for a regeneration process that’s been focused on Portland Street in recent years. Aside from the impending opening of the casino, Hotel Brooklyn has also opened in recent months, and will presumably complement the casino with offers for guests. After many years in which office space has been standing empty on what’s one of Manchester’s biggest and best-known city streets, compounded by the closure of further businesses in recent years, things might finally be looking up for a part of the city that was, until recently, considered to be an important business center.
While there will be some who raise concerns about the opening of another gambling premises in Manchester, it would be short-sighted to overlook the beneficial effect that Manchester 235 has had on its surrounding area in recent years, with the opening of a number of bars and restaurants that complement the casino in terms of trade and footfall. The businesses that already exist on Portland Street and depend on passing trade to support themselves will doubtless welcome this new development and will already be looking forward to an upturn in trade in the weeks and months to come. New jobs are also always to be welcomed, and it never hurts to have somewhere else to consider as an entertainment option when on a night out in the city. We wish everybody at Napoleon's great success in their new venture!