loses London casino bid
By David Stringer, The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
London - Manchester was the surprise choice Tuesday as the
site for Britain's first Las Vegas-style supercasino,
beating bids from London's Millennium Dome -- owned by
Anschutz Entertainment Group -- and Blackpool.
The Casino Advisory Panel also recommended sites for eight
smaller casinos. The final decision will be made by Culture
Secretary Tessa Jowell.
"The Panel was won over by how well the Manchester proposal
in particular delivered against the full range of
requirements set out in the criteria against which the
judgments were made," said the advisory panel's chairman,
Prof. Stephen Crow.
"The proposed development will not only attract visitors,
boosting the local and regional economy, but it will provide
new state-of-the-art venues for the local community to
enjoy," said Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of
Manchester City Council.
The advisory panel said that Manchester, a city of 440,000
in north west England, badly needed economic development.
"Although containing one of the country's fastest growing
economies, Manchester is the third-most deprived local
authority area in England," the report said.
"Twenty percent of Manchester residents are currently in
receipt of income support, twice the national average."
Blackpool, in north west England, famous for a 518-foot
tower and a traditional favorite of British holiday makers,
had been the top tip for the supercasino.
London's Millennium Dome, on the River Thames at Greenwich,
was also seen as a front runner but lost out to Manchester.
The dome was built for exhibitions in 2000 but attracted
only half of an estimated 12 million annual visitors and
Since 2001, it has staged a handful of events and was
purchased by Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc., controlled
by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, in 2005, in the hope
of converting it into one of Europe's largest gambling
Under a relaxation of gambling laws in 2005, the government
said it planned to award licenses to build casinos in areas
with high levels of unemployment.
The new Gambling Act allows for the establishment of one
supercasino, eight larger casinos, and eight smaller
Britain already has around 140 small and medium sized
casinos, mainly based in major towns and cities.