New supercasino twist
The dispute over the U.K’s proposed new supercasino has thrown up a new twist as it has been revealed that Lord Falconer met up with American company Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) on a series of occasions.
The latest revelation follows the widely criticised trip of John Prescott to the ranch of AEG chief Philip Anschutz and has led for critics to urge the Government to fully disclose all aspects of the meetings. AEG want to build a supercasino at the Dome but these new meetings have led critics to scrutinise the supposed impartial nature of the selection process even more.
The Dome is currently on a shortlist of 7 competing for the first supercasino licence in the U.K and opposition MP’s have demanded to know whether any promises have been given to AEG over a possible granted licence.
Most of the meetings took place between October 2001 and May 2002, just before the publication of a white paper laying down proposals for Las Vegas-style casinos in the U.K.
However, a spokeswoman for Lord Falconer denied any suggestions that Mr Anschutz had been given preferential treatment, claiming that Falconer was just fulfilling his duties as then minister for the Dome.
"He was just trying to find a buyer for the Dome," she said.
Shadow culture secretary, Hugo Swire, is still not convinced and firmly believes that AEG have been given an advantage.
“It is time for the government to come clean and finally address the continuing speculation over what assurances were given by ministers over a casino licence at the dome. If you tot up all the meetings Anschutz has had with Prescott and Falconer before him, it clearly appears he has received preferential access to government.”
Lord Falconer remained tight-lipped over the claims, refusing to comment on the nature of the meetings on the grounds of commercial confidentiality.
Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2006-11-27 11:20:20