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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 13:39 GMT
Think tank backs Blackpool casino
Artist's impression of the planned casino and conference quarter
The decision on the super-casino will be announced on Tuesday
Britain's first super-casino should be built in Blackpool, according to an independent think tank.

The Centre for Cities' backing comes a day before the Casino Advisory Panel reveals its chosen location. Blackpool and Greenwich are the favourites.

The group - part of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) - said the resort would benefit more from the casino's potential regeneration boost.

But it warned the policy was untested and not guaranteed to succeed.

Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff, Sheffield and Manchester are also bidding for the licence.

Researchers said the super-casino would be good for the Blackpool economy, where the number of tourists visiting is dropping by up to 2% each year.

We think Blackpool deserves to win
Max Nathan
Centre for Cities

By contrast, they said Greenwich stood to gain almost 8,000 jobs as a result of the 2012 Olympics and had a variety of other regeneration options.

Despite the regeneration benefits, the research unit said the government's own evidence suggested the super-casino was likely to deliver mixed results.

It warned that it could drain money away from local non-gambling businesses and lead to an increase in problem gambling.

Max Nathan, senior researcher at the Centre for Cities, said: "We think Blackpool deserves to win.

"But getting a super-casino is not like winning the jackpot - the super casino will not deliver a magical transformation to the winning area."

Mr Nathan warned that the winning bidder must link local people to the jobs created by the casino, and take steps to deal with any social costs.

Unlimited gaming

The Casino Advisory Panel is set to reveal its chosen location for the regional casino - or super-casino - on Tuesday.

The panel is made up of five members, including experts in planning and regeneration, and led by Professor Stephen Chow.

Under the guidelines, the casino must address a need for regeneration in the chosen area, which is likely to have high levels of unemployment and social deprivation.

The super casino will be the only venue in the UK permitted to have up to 1,250 unlimited jackpot gaming machines.


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