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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK
Casino could save seafront prom
Torquay seafront
The promenade's Riviera feel should be retained says the mayor
A new-style "super casino" could save Torquay's crumbling seafront promenade, according to Torbay's mayor.

Nick Bye says he has got to "think big" in the wake of a report that has condemned the Devon resort's concrete promenade as unsafe.

He says the council does not have the 1m to refurbish the prom, part of which is now fenced off.

And a private development such as a casino would help pay for it and regenerate Torquay.

He said: "Clearly we have got to protect the Riviera feel of the resort.

A hotel, casino or improved theatre could be spectacular
Nick Bye

"It is not going to be completely covered in concrete, but if we have an imaginative development, a hotel, casino or improved theatre could be spectacular."

In March Mr Bye gave his approval for the council's regeneration arm, the Torbay Development Agency, to submit a formal application for a casino under government changes to the gambling laws

Nick Bye said at the time he would like to see Torbay "become the Monte Carlo of the West Country".

Under the new Gambling Act, three new types of casino will be allowed to operate.

One regional casino will be created, along with eight small casinos and eight large ones.

Torbay is applying for the right to operate a large casino.

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