Britain’s Super-Casino in Cold Storage?

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Jul 11 2007
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Could there be a U-Turn on the super-casino planned earlier by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who had originally envisioned over 20 Las Vegas-style casinos, but that number was cut back to eight, and then finally just one?

It seems British Prime Minister Gordon Brown backed away from UK plans to build a Las Vegas-style supercasino in the northern city of Manchester, saying there might be better ways to encourage economic growth there. A source close to government told Reuters: “The regional casino is pretty much dead in the water”, adding that plans for 16 new smaller casinos would be unaffected.

Manchester in January unexpectedly won a competition to host a supercasino, which was expected to generate 2,700 jobs through its 5,000 square metres of gaming floors and bars and in surrounding cinemas and hotels. However in March, politicians led by church leaders in the upper House of Lords rejected plans to build the venue, following months of campaigning by anti-addiction campaigners.

Overseas casino operators had invested millions of dollars in planning and lobbying in the UK, and those intending to bid to run the Manchester casino included U.S. operators Las Vegas Sands, Harrah and Britain’s Ladbrokes.

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