The changing face of Manchester’s entertainment scene

A night out in Manchester isn’t the same as it used to be.

Of course, that phrase could apply to any town or city in the UK, but one thing we know about Manchester is that nightlife has changed over the years.

From the rave scene and the legendary Haçienda to the Oasis rock sound of the mid-nineties and beyond, the city has always been a musical hub.

However, with the last decade seeing an estimated 35% of grassroots music venues closing their doors, this appears to no longer be the case.

As one door closes, another one opens and, today, “Madchester” is more like Las Chester. With casinos springing up across the city, people are starting to embrace a new form of entertainment.

Why now? The declining music scene has clearly left a void, but what has made Manchester a burgeoning hub for Las Vegas-style casinos?

The internet makes casino gaming a mainstream pastime

(image courtesy of vreimunde via Flickr, with thanks)

Part of the move towards chips and betting has come courtesy of the internet. Following a surge in activity in the early noughties, online casinos have become a mainstream pastime.

Indeed, with the industry worth an estimated £36 billion ($51 billion), getting access to the latest games, slots and more is easier than ever.

In fact, what’s interesting is that big brand operators have embraced the mobile gaming revolution.

A consumer can now easily download something like the Mr Green mobile app and have 24/7 access to more than 300 games.

This access to free play and real money betting in an app that’s only 87.6MB in size has essentially made casino gaming fashionable. Another way of looking at it is that casinos have been demystified by new technology.

Instead of the general public picturing smoky venues filled with undesirables and big spenders, people now see casinos gaming as a leisurely activity that anyone can enjoy.

Piggybacking off of this image change, developers have created venues that cater to the average player.

Although the proverbial high rollers haven’t been excluded, the leading venues now offer something for everyone.

Often dubbed five-star entertainment, the city’s casinos now offer bars, restaurants backed by the likes of James Martin, nightclubs and more. In the same way Las Vegas casinos are designed to be all-round entertainment experiences, Manchester’s venues are more than places where people go to bet.

A new era in entertainment

(image courtesy of Ian McKellar via Flickr, with thanks)

For some, the old images still stand. However, there’s no doubt things are starting to change.

While music venues are closing, casinos are starting to light up the city’s skyline with entertainment in its broadest sense. In fact, it’s a similar story across the UK. Casinos might be built on gaming, but they’ve become much more over the last decade.

So, while it’s a shame Manchester is losing its musical identity, that doesn’t mean the end of the city’s reputation as an entertainment hub.

One era might be over, but a new one is just starting and this time it’s the sound of riffling casino chips the masses are bobbing along to.

Image courtesy of Nicholas Smale via Flickr, with thanks.

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