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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 May 2006, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
'Viva Glas-vegas' hope for casino
An impression of how a super-casino in Glasgow might look
An impression of how a super-casino in Glasgow might look
Glasgow has been shortlisted in the competition to secure the UK's first super-casino.

It is up against Blackpool, Cardiff, the Millennium Dome, Wembley, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Midlothian and West Dunbartonshire failed in their bids to host an unlimited jackpot super-casino licence.

Stranraer is up for one of 16 licences for smaller casinos with jackpot limits of 4,000. A final decision is expected in December.

Renfrewshire and Falkirk were not included in the 31 areas shortlisted for large and small casinos.

More than 60 local authorities across the UK had been attempting to reach the next stage of the bid process.

There were 27 councils hoping to win a licence for Britain's first super - or regional - casino.

The government originally suggested there should be eight super-casinos, but after widespread opposition and claims they would lead to a big increase in gambling addiction, the plans were scaled down to just one in order to save the Gambling Bill.

Social and regeneration impacts will be considered by the Casino Advisory Panel in making recommendations to ministers.

The advisory panel is offering licences for one super-casino, eight large casinos and eight small.

The main variation between the three is the size of the customer area allowed, the number of slot machines and size of the jackpot.

Three Scottish councils had bid for a super-casino licence

The super-casino will have a minimum customer area of 5,000 sq m and 1,250 unlimited-jackpot slot machines, while large casinos will have a minimum area of 1,000 sq m and up to 150 slot machines with a maximum jackpot of 4,000.

The small casinos will have a minimum customer area of 750 sq m, up to 80 slot machines and a jackpot of 4,000.

The panel's final decision is expected to be given to Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell in December.

Steven Purcell, the leader of Glasgow City Council, said it had a "big event" strategy to bring business and leisure tourists into the city.

He said: "The regional casino proposal is an opportunity to continue that regeneration.

It is about more than just the casino
Steven Purcell
Glasgow City Council leader

"Our independent consultants have indicated it could create 3,000 jobs and bring 250m into the Glasgow economy every year.

"It is about more than just the casino. It is about hotel proposals, restaurants, entertainment venues etc."

Mr Purcell recognised that there were concerns over the social impact of the new casinos but said there would be safeguards.

He said: "The regional casinos will be one of the most tightly regulated parts of the gambling industry.

"The casinos will have highly-trained staff who can spot addictive gamblers.

"The whole point of the gambling act was to raise standards and raise regulation in the industry."

Midlothian Council expressed disappointment and argued its bid had been the best opportunity in Scotland to meet the regeneration aims of the process.

Chief executive Trevor Muir said: "A successful bid would also have broadened our tourism impact however we shall continue to build on our strengths and the current boom we are experiencing."





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