Plans for new slot machine and gaming centre in Huntingdon

The former Carphone Warehouse shop in Huntingdon High Street could become a gaming centre.

The former Carphone Warehouse shop in Huntingdon High Street could become a gaming centre. - Credit: Archant

A high-tech slot machine arcade featuring interlinked prize bingo could soon open in Huntingdon town centre.

Cashino Gaming Ltd has applied for a bingo premises licence to operate at the former Carphone Warehouse outlet in the High Street.

The firm is part of a national chain which operates 180 arcade-style venues and has opened 25 new branches this year.

It says it offers low-stake gaming machines which can be played for 10p-£2 a spin, with prizes of £5-£500 on offer. Electronic bingo tablets can be connected to other venues to give higher jackpots.

Cashino says it can spend up to £200,000 on upgrading its premises and would create around a dozen full and part-time jobs if it gets the go-ahead.

The Carphone Warehouse unit - which occupies a prime site in the town centre - has been empty since the company closed all its shops in April this year, blaming a change in the mobile phone market.

Now Cashino Gaming has applied to Huntingdonshire District Council for the bingo licence it needs to run games at the arcade, operating as Merkur Slots.

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Representations about the bingo licence have to be with the council by December 27.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Our Merkur Cashino and Merkur Slots venues offer the latest digital low stake slot machine games. You can play from 10p to £2 a spin of the reels with jackpots from £5 up to £500 in cash.

“Our venues that offer bingo allow customers to play on digital tablets with some games linked up with other venues to offer higher jackpot prizes. “

The spokesman said: “The feel inside is very modern and we create anything from 8 to 12 jobs depending on the hours they operate and mix of full time or part time work.

“We often get compared to a bookmakers, but the atmosphere and feel in our venues is very different as we do not offer sports betting.

“We also operate Think 25 for ID checks with a pass rate of around 95% for the last 3 years. Our environment is more about the service and community aspect, particularly with venues that offer Bingo.”

The spokesman said they did not serve alcohol but offered coffee to players, with each refit costing between £100,000 and £200,000 depending on the condition of the building.