Structural Stability Concerns Force Closure of Genting Casino in the UK


Genting Casino in Westcliff on Sea Shut Down Due to Safety Concerns

Posted on: November 7, 2023, 06:42h | Last updated on: November 7, 2023, 06:42h

The Genting Casino in Westcliff on Sea, UK, has been forced to close its doors after the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in its construction raised concerns about safety and structural integrity.

The exterior of the Genting Casino in Westcliff on Sea
The exterior of the Genting Casino in Westcliff on Sea. The casino has been shut down due to concerns about its construction. (Image: Essex Live)

The closure was ordered by the UK arm of Resorts World Genting, who discovered the RAAC during routine maintenance of the property. The presence of the concrete in the casino’s roof poses a serious safety risk and has raised fears of potential structural issues.

Genting has initiated a thorough inspection to assess the extent of the problem and ensure the safety of the premises. While there is no immediate danger of a roof collapse, the closure is a precautionary measure.

At this time, there is no specified reopening date for the casino. Genting has advised Westcliff gamblers to seek alternative locations for their gaming activities and will provide regular updates on the situation through its social media channels.

The Risks of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) Structures

RAAC is a lightweight and energy-efficient type of concrete produced through autoclaving. However, recent scrutiny has revealed potential weaknesses, especially in load-bearing structures.

RAAC has been used in UK construction since the 1950s, despite warnings from structural engineers that it would only last around 30 years. No action was taken to address this issue.

While not all structures utilizing RAAC encounter problems, there have been notable cases where its weaknesses have become apparent. Residential properties in the UK have experienced cracks and structural issues over time, raising concerns about the suitability of RAAC for load-bearing applications.

Commercial buildings have also faced structural problems related to RAAC, with incidents of partial collapse. A thorough reevaluation of the material’s use in similar structures has been prompted.

RAAC Risks Extend to UK Schools

RAAC was widely used in the construction of UK schools as a cost-saving measure, but it has now become a costly problem. Over 174 schools were built using this material.

In September, over 100 schools were abruptly closed just before the fall term due to safety concerns. Further inspections revealed issues with the structures that were previously believed to be safe.

Temporary and virtual classrooms have been implemented as replacements while officials work on inspections and replacing the problematic material. However, resolving this issue could take years.

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