Genting Group’s Resorts World Casino Complex opens in Birmingham
Last week marked the grand opening of Resorts World Birmingham, a massive casino and shopping complex in the heart of England. The £150 million resort is now the largest casino in the UK, and the first European gambling destination to be built by the world-renowned Genting Group.
The doors to the massive 12-story, 50,000 square meter (583,000 square foot) complex officially opened on Wednesday, October 21. Two days later, the 11-screen Imax cinema opened, followed by the opening of the casino and night-time bars on Monday.
According to Operations Manager Barry Clemo, Resorts World Birmingham is the first commercial center of its type in which visitors will not have to leave the building for anything. The enormous complex, designed to mimic the veneer of a cruise ship, is home to a casino, spa, hotel, cinema, 50 retail outlets and 18 bars and restaurants. It’s also situated adjacent the live entertainment venue, Genting Arena.
Birmingham’s newest attraction is open 24/7, employs approximately 1,200 workers, and can accommodate an estimated 12,000 people at any given time.
Clemo said Resorts World Birmingham was designed to attract all walks of consumers, from casino players and shoppers to concertgoers and nightlife enthusiasts. He believes the complex will appeal to all appropriate ages, including those “too young to sit at home watching telly, and too old to push through the crowds in the city centre.”
Genting Group weren’t the only corporate entities excited about the new UK casino’s grand opening. James Berresford, Chief Executive Officer of the region’s national tourist board, VisitEngland, welcomed the new holiday hot spot.
“The launch of the new Resorts World marks a huge investment to the West Midlands and is sure to drive additional spend in the area,” said Berresford. He believes the casino and shopping complex will serve as a great addition “to the existing wide range of major visitor attractions such as Warwick Castle, Cadbury World and The Library of Birmingham that contribute to the 56m visitors the West Midlands attracts every year.”
Anti-Gambling Advocates Raise Concerns
Not everyone is so pleased by the UK gambling resort’s erection. Some people are skeptical of what such a large gambling arena could mean for the citizens of Birmingham and surrounding areas.
The University of Birmingham’s Professor of Clinical and Community Psychology, Jim Orford, is the founder of Gambling Watch UK, an organization that seeks to halt the expansion of gambling throughout the nation. Prof Orford noted the “dangerously addictive” nature of electronic gambling machines, which can be found in the UK casino, suggesting that the new complex “normalises gambling”.
Prof Orford believes precautionary measures could be taken to minimise harm to the people of England. “In some countries, for example in Singapore, the government deliberately made it more expensive for locals to enter the casino because it was anxious to protect its own citizens.”
Compared to the overall size of the complex, the casino isn’t all that large. Resorts World Birmingham houses 150+ slot machines, with 31 electronic table games like 3 card poker, blackjack and roulette that feature max table limits of £1,000.
But critics are worried that casino promotions, like the already posted “Slots Mania Tournament”, will be too much of a draw for locals. The promotion invites patrons to play the slot machines to find out who is the “best slots player in town”.