Supercasino decision looms
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Backers of two of the front-running bids to host Britain’s first Las Vegas-style supercasino have threatened legal action if their bids are rejected. Greenwich and Blackpool have both warned that if they deem it necessary, they will go ahead with legal action.
Owners of The O2 arena (formerly the Millennium Dome), Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), have said they will have to cancel £350 million of investment if their Greenwich bid is unsuccessful.
"There is no plan B," said AEG’s David Campbell, chief executive in Europe.
"If we don't get the casino, we have to take a view on the decision and whether we should challenge it.”
In their proposals to the Casino Advisory Panel (CAP), Greenwich London Borough unequivocally pointed out the significance of a supercasino to AEG’s future plans, claming that if a supercasino was not allowed to be built there, the whole development would be considerably jeopardised.
AEG argue that only a supercasino can draw the number of visitors needed to validate proposals for new hotels and theatres.
Meanwhile, Blackpool Council has also refused to rule out legal action if their proposals are unsuccessful. They claim they need the supercasino to attract private investment to fuel a £2.5 billion regeneration of the old seaside town. Currently Blackpool is losing around two per cent of tourist visitors every year, with parts of the town dilapidated and in need of urgent renewal.
As such, Blackpool’s bid has been given the backing of a government think tank. The Centre for Cities believes that Blackpool is the area that will derive the most benefits from the development of a supercasino. However, they also warned that winning the supercasino licence will not guarantee economic and social upturns.
“We think Blackpool deserves to win,” said Max Nathan, senior researcher for Centre for Cities.
“But getting a super-casino is not like winning the jackpot - the super casino will not deliver a magical transformation to the winning area."
Other cities in the running for tomorrow’s landmark decision are Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff, Sheffield and Manchester.
Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-01-29 10:48:01