Merkur Slots, situated on Stockton High Street, is contesting proposed restrictions on its operating hours, seeking an extension until 6 a.m. A move that has sparked debate with the local Stockton Council.

Currently open until midnight, Merkur Slots has applied to extend its operating hours, aiming to cater to a late-night clientele that primarily comprises late-shift workers seeking leisure time post-shift. However, the Stockton Council has expressed reservations about this extension, citing potential disturbances to residents during nighttime hours.

In the council’s report, concerns were raised about the anticipated increase in nighttime activity, which could potentially disrupt residents’ peace and quiet. The council also highlighted apprehensions regarding the precedent this extension might set for similar establishments that cause cumulative disturbances to the area’s residential amenities.

Merkur Slots countered these concerns, emphasizing its low noise levels and minimal impact on surrounding areas, particularly emphasizing the predominance of late-shift workers among its late-night customer base.

To bolster its case, Merkur Slots commissioned a probe into potential crime and anti-social behavior concerns, which was carried out by a security company led by a former Metropolitan Police officer. The investigation purportedly found no evidence suggesting that extending operating hours would lead to an increase in such issues.

However, the Stockton Council defended its stance, asserting that allowing extended hours for Merkur Slots might compromise the character of the immediate surrounding area, especially when considering the cumulative impact alongside the nearby Admiral Casino, which operates 24/7.

The debate between Merkur Slots and Stockton Council continues, highlighting the delicate balance between catering to commercial interests and maintaining the tranquility of residential areas, with both sides presenting compelling arguments amidst contrasting viewpoints.


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