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Police in casino crackdown at Glasgow's Corinthian

ONE of Scotland's most prestigious late-night venues has had strict conditions put on its casino licence after concerns about disorder.

Police called for a review of the licence at The Corinthian in Glasgow amid concerns of violence within and around the club.

Operators have been allowed to keep the Gambling Act licence, but with stringent conditions over how the venue operates.

They include the provision of an alcohol policy and alcohol awareness training for staff.

The Corinthian will have to have security-industry authorised stewards in place at the entrances to the casino.

Managers will also have to install CCTV in gaming areas. An incident and exclusion log book has to be kept, and information on the venue's management structure is to be given to the licensing board and Police Scotland.

An information-sharing protocol has also to be developed between the casino licence-holders, a subsidiary of Casinos Austria International, and the venue, part of the G1 group.

It is the latest problem in a controversial year for venues operated by Stefan King's G1 which included the Corinthian's hours being cut back after a litany of complaints by police.

Earlier this month it emerged the company lost a discrimination case when two gay disabled men took it to court after they were denied admission to the Polo Lounge, another venue in G1's growing stable.

The firm also made global headlines after installing a two-way mirror in the women's toilets at its Shimmy Club, which saw it lose its licence for a week last summer.

A Police Scotland document submitted to the Greater Glasgow licencing board revealed that between February 10, 2013 and February 12, 2014, there were 222 police incidents recorded within or directly outside The Corinthian on Ingram Street.

Lawyers for The Corinthian had previously claimed that was a "gross exaggeration".

Of those incidents 90 were reported between 3am and 6am and resulted in 29 arrests.

The document said none of those crimes and offences took place within specific casino areas but were as a result of "excessive intoxication and/or alcohol fuelled violence within the bar areas of the premises or in the immediate locality of the doors".

The Police Scotland submission went on: "There has been a persistent problem with disorder and criminality associated with this casino.

"The Chief Constable is concerned that this casino has problems caused by significant levels of intoxication.

"With reference to the guidelines for licensing authorities … there is concern that patrons might be unable to make an informed or balanced decision about gambling due to substance misuse relating to alcohol or drugs.

"It is clear that there is a conflict between the nature of these premises operating for an extended period (11pm to 6am daily except Sunday) for the sale and supply of alcohol, coupled with the numbers of intoxicated individuals coming to the police attention, and the operation of the venue where the principal description of the premises is that of a 'casino' premises."

The Police Scotland document said representatives of G1 attended a meeting in March with police to discuss recent incidents including the rape of a patron.

They said a series of proposals were put to G1 to prevent further incidents and to improve the safety of clients and staff. But "disappointingly" G1 was unable to agree to the recommendations.

Nobody was available to comment from G1.

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