Manchester's Super-Casino Win

Manchester has been chosen as the surprise location of Britain’s first Las Vegas-style super-casino. The decision was a big blow for Blackpool and London’s former Millennium Dome, which were the bookmakers’ favourites. Manchester was a 16-1 outsider. The licence will allow Manchester to build a venue for up to 1,250 unlimited-jackpot gaming machines.

The Casino Advisory Panel also granted licences for 8 new “large” casinos in Great Yarmouth, Hull, Newham, Middlesbrough, Solihull, Milton Keynes, Leeds and Southampton, as well as for 8 “small” casinos in Bath, North East Somerset, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lindsey, Luton, Scarborough, Swansea, Torbay and Wolverhampton.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said MPs would be given the final say, via a Commons vote on the proposals.

There has been speculation that more super-casino licences might be awarded but Ms. Jowell told MPs that there would definitely be no more granted during this Parliament.
Any further casinos would have to be approved by parliament and would not be considered until there had been a “proper evaluation over time” of the social and economic effects of the 17 new casinos.

She said: “Las Vegas is not coming to Great Britain… British casinos will be subject to new controls, which will be the strictest in the world.”

Stephen Crow, chairman of the independent Casino Advisory Panel, said Manchester had been chosen because of its “very thorough consultation” with the local community and “the way it dealt with questions of problem gambling”.

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