MORE than eight jobs have been created in Trowbridge with the launch of a new gaming machine entertainment venue - which has just been forced to close because of the third Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

The coronavirus crisis put the brakes on the UK gaming industry for most of 2020 and many venues have just closed again after reopening following lockdown 2.

Milton Keynes-based Praesepe, part of the German-owned Gauselmann group in Dusseldorf, has just launched its Merkur Slots brand nationally with new outlets.

The group’s new venue on Fore Street, Trowbridge, opened on December 2 and created eight to 12 jobs.

Mark Schertle, chief operating officer, said staff in Trowbridge had worked "tirelessly" to get the new venue open in December and was sorry they had been forced to close again.

“So many companies haven’t survived the effects of the pandemic and we are delighted to be able to give customers a brand-new experience.

“It means a lot to us to be part of kick-starting the high street again and supporting the local community with new job opportunities."

Gauselmann group plans to open many more Merkur Slots venues across the UK, creating at least 180 jobs by the end of this year.

Merkur Slots provides the latest in digital venues. All machines are fully digitised and customers will be able to enjoy all of their favourite games, as well as the latest in Blueprint games.

All venues are Covid-secure, with Gauselmann group implementing an “open, clean, safe” campaign to ensure safety precautions are in place and everything is communicated effectively with customers via social channels and the official website.

It will continue to heed official government advice and will regularly monitor, and adjust the plan, over coming weeks and months.

Safety measures inside the venue include Perspex screens, full machine cleans between customers, sanitise stations, masks and social distancing measures.

Mr Schertle added: “We look forward to welcoming customers back to gaming once more and we feel we have a unique edge in that we can offer them brand-new, modern venues that have been designed with social distancing in mind. Customers can game with total confidence."