Britain's first super casino may have up to 1,250 slot machines



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Eight cities in final round
to become ‘British Vegas’

By Andrew Stevens, Political Editor

28 May 2006: Eight British cities and towns have made it into the final round of bids to build the country’s first ‘super-casino’. Of 27 applicants, the final eight will have to make a further case to be chosen as the site for Britain’s only Las Vegas-style unlimited gambling hotspot. The already unsuccessful candidates expressed dismay at the decision of the government’s new Casino Advisory Panel, though 16 licenses for smaller casinos will also be awarded.

The final eight include the English cities of Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield and two bids from London in Brent and Greenwich. The historic seaside coastal resort of Blackpool is also in the running while Scotland and Wales are represented by Glasgow and Cardiff respectively. Competition to locate the super-casino is fierce because of the economic regeneration benefits to the area of the successful council. Those unsuccessful included Solihull, home to the National Exhibition Centre, who expressed shock and dismay at the decision of the panel. In judging the merits of the applications to locate the super-casino, the panel assessed the likely social impact in each area. The panel’s final decision will be announced in December 2006.

The super-casino site chosen will have a minimum floor space of 5,000 square metres and may house up to 1,250 gaming machines with unlimited jackpots. The eight large casinos will each have a minimum floor space of 1,500 square metres and be allowed up to 150 gaming machines with maximum jackpots of £4,000, while the eight smaller venues will have a minimum floor space of 750 square metres and only 80 gaming machines of equivalent prizes. All will be permitted to allow betting but only the super-casino and larger venues will be allowed to offer bingo.

The Gambling Act 2005, which paved the way for the liberalisation of Britain’s laws on gambling, was one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in recent times and only became law when the government watered down key parts in order to stave off opposition. Concerns over problem gambling led to MPs from all sides of Parliament to stridently oppose the legislation, which originally planned to allow for eight super-casinos, one for each region. The sole super-casino will now be a pilot though further licences will require new legislation. The Gambling Act also tightened up the law on gambling by minors and was presented as long overdue modernisation, as with the recent changes to British drinking laws, but opponents accused the government of being in hock to American gambling interests.

The proposals did not enjoy cross-party support during their legislative passage and continue to draw some opposition. The Liberal Democrats’ culture spokesman Don Foster said that those councils short-listed “should organise opportunities through meetings, petitions or local referenda for local people to have their say.”, while the Conservatives’ Hugo Swire cautioned that the government ought to get to grips with problem-gamblers before introducing a more liberalised gambling regime.


One lucky UK city will be able to develop into a British Las Vegas


Introducing Las Vegas
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the state of Nevada, United States, and a major vacation, shopping, entertainment, and gambling destination. It was established in 1905, officially became a city in 1911 and became the largest American city that was founded in the 20th century.


The name Las Vegas is often applied to the unincorporated areas of Clark County that surround the city, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip. This 41⁄2 mi (71⁄4 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard is mostly outside the Las Vegas city limits, in the unincorporated town of Paradise.

The center of gambling in the US, Las Vegas is marketed as The Entertainment Capital of the World, also commonly known as Sin City, due to the popularity of legalized gambling, availability of alcoholic beverages any time (like all of Nevada), and various forms and degrees of adult entertainment.

Las Vegas started as a stopover on the pioneer trails to the west, and became a popular railroad town in the early 1900s. It was a staging point for all the mines in the surrounding area, especially those around the town of Bullfrog, that shipped their goods out to the rest of the country. With the growth of the railroads, Las Vegas became less important, but the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam resulted in substantial growth in tourism, which, along with the legalization of gambling, led to the advent of the casino-hotels for which Las Vegas is famous.

The constant stream of tourist dollars from the hotels and casinos was augmented by a new source of federal money. This money came from the establishment of what is now Nellis Air Force Base. The influx of military personnel and casino job-hunters helped start a land building boom which still goes on today. (Source: Wikipedia)