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Glasgow's Corinthian under scrutiny after police claims of violence, drunkenness, indecent assault

ONE of Scotland's most ­prestigious licensed premises is facing an uncertain future amid police complaints of violence, disorder and drunkenness.

CORINTHIAN: Famous Glasgow venue.
CORINTHIAN: Famous Glasgow venue.

The Corinthian, part of leisure entrepreneur Stefan King's G1 Group, has been summoned to appear before licensing chiefs following a string of incidents going back at least a year.

As well as violence both inside and outside the Glasgow city centre venue, The Herald understands the police complaint includes incidents of indecent assault on the premises and an allegation of threats to customers by stewarding staff.

A large number of the alleged incidents took place between 3am and 6am when The Corinthian operates as a casino and is still approved to sell alcohol.

Police Scotland have called for a review of both The Corinthian's liquor licence, which will be heard on Friday, and its gaming permit, to be heard at a later date.

It is the first review of a gambling premises in Scotland since the laws changed in 2007.

Sanctions open to the board could include shutting the venue, which is a favourite with footballers and local celebrities, for an unspecified period of time, while its hours could also be curtailed to 3am.

According to the board's policy on casinos, if grounds for complaint are upheld, withdrawing the 6am licence is a control open to the board.

A notice outside the A-listed venue, which was once the home of the Glasgow Ship Bank, states: "The premises are operating in a manner inconsistent with preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime and protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

"The Chief Constable is of the view that the above conditions are not being complied with due to the levels of violence, disorder and drunkenness observed as occurring within the premises."

The move comes on the back of a turbulent nine months for G1, which has seen Mr King's hugely successful stable in the public eye for the wrong reasons.

Last June, the Shimmy Club was closed down for a week after it emerged it had fitted a two-way mirror which allowed male revellers to peer at women in the female toilets, while the same month a disabled gay man also launched a campaign against the company after being denied entry due to his wheelchair.

Just weeks afterwards it was in the spotlight again after it was forced to apologise following a pub quiz at another of its Glasgow bars which included jokes about rape and homosexuality. There are ongoing concerns that some venues operating as casinos are granted the privilege of selling alcohol until 6am while effectively operating as a nightclub.

The city's board has pledged to address misuse of the "permitted hours" amid unease amongst the authorities at the lack of people gambling in the early hours compared with those drinking or dancing in such venues.

A licensing board spokesman said: "Police Scotland has applied to the board for a review of the premises' licence under the terms of the 2005 Act. As part of that process, officers will have the opportunity to present evidence of their concerns to the board when it meets on Friday."

No-one from G1 was available for comment.

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