Merkur Slots, located on Stockton High Street, is fighting against proposed limitations on its operating hours. Currently open until midnight, the company has applied for an extension to operate until 6am.
The Stockton Council expressed concern, stating that extending the opening hours could disturb residents during the night and potentially encourage other businesses to request similar extensions. They believe this would negatively impact nearby properties.
However, it is important to note that very few venues in the area are allowed to remain open past midnight, with only three bars permitted to operate until 1am on weekends.
Merkur Slots has countered, highlighting that their late-night clientele primarily consists of late-shift workers seeking relaxation after their shifts. They assert that their noise levels are minimal and do not significantly disturb nearby establishments.
To support their appeal, Merkur Slots commissioned an investigation into potential crime and anti-social behavior concerns. The investigation, conducted by a reputable licensing and security company led by a former Metropolitan Police officer, found no evidence to suggest that extending the opening hours would lead to increased issues.
The Stockton Council justifies their decision by emphasizing that granting Merkur Slots longer operating hours would have a detrimental effect on the surrounding area, particularly when considering the nearby Admiral Casino, which operates 24 hours a day. In other news, Merkur Slots recently changed its name, officially dropping the Gauselmann name it previously held as it entered the new year.