Another week, and another story of expansion within the old-skool retro video arcade sector: with news that the Bury-based Arcade Club brand will soon be expanding to Blackpool.
Originally born out of its owner Andy Palmer’s collection of classic 80’s video cabinets, since its launch in 2015 Arcade Club has expanded across three floors in its original Bury location and (as of last year) opened a new site in Leeds, and has now just been approved by town planners in Blackpool to transform the former site of resort’s Sam Thai casino into yet another sprawling gaming destination, touting over 200 individual machines.
Such was the degree to which councillors wished to accommodate the burgeoning amusements business, that they were even willing to turn a blind eye to the fact that town codes technically required such a large new entertainment venue to be located closer to the town centre.
“The council considers that the whole concept of Arcade Club is to be accessible to everyone and good value for money,” read a report issued by the planning board. “In order to achieve that, they have to keep running costs very low and being out of the centre of Blackpool brings cost in much lower and makes them financially viable.”
For his part meanwhile, Palmer went on the record with video-game news site Eurogamer last month to claim that the latest Arcade Club would fill a gap in Blackpool’s amusements market. “Everyone’s pining for classic games in Blackpool,” he said. “But none of the arcades are catering for it.”