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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 September 2006, 23:26 GMT 00:26 UK
Doubts cast over casino benefits
An impression of how a super-casino in Glasgow might look
An impression of how a super-casino in Glasgow might look
The potential economic benefits of building a super-casino in Glasgow could be undermined by negative social impact, an independent study has found.

The report by regeneration consultants Hall Aitken claimed Glasgow City Council had not tried to quantify the potential effects of problem gambling.

BBC's Frontline Scotland commissioned an analysis of Glasgow's bid for a documentary that will air on Monday.

The city council said a super-casino would create jobs and attract visitors.

Glasgow is competing against six other British cities to host the country's only super-casino.

Paul Buchanan
The casino cannot be seen as a magic bullet for the economic or social problems that Glasgow might want to address
Paul Buchanan
Hall Aitken

The Casino Advisory Panel, which is considering the bids, will take evidence in Glasgow on Monday.

Hall Aitken, the social and economic regeneration consultancy, said the city's case was "well presented" but lacked detail on possible social costs.

Paul Buchanan, who led the researchers, said: "We think the economic benefits that are shown in the Glasgow bid could well be outweighed by the negative social costs associated with this casino.

"The super-casino under no circumstances can be seen as a magic bullet for any of the economic or social problems that Glasgow might want to address."

CONSULTANTS' REPORT

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The study claimed the city's estimate that 44% of casino visitors would be tourists was too high.

It also suggested that rather than benefiting locals, the jobs could be taken by migrant workers from Eastern Europe.

The report claimed investment in regeneration would be limited because most of the tax revenues would go to the Treasury rather than remaining in the locality.

Frontline Scotland also examined how casinos in Las Vegas and Detroit had affected the areas economically.

A regional casino would bring major regeneration benefits to the city
Steven Purcell
Leader of Glasgow City Council

Thomas Sugrue, Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, said: "The experience of the Detroit casinos and casinos in most other cities in the United States show that most of the people who come are coming from a local market or a regional market.

"They are not staying overnight, they are not spending their money in hotels or restaurants."

However, Steven Purcell, Glasgow City Council leader, said the casino would create more than 2,000 jobs, boost the city's economy by 26m and increase visitors by 600,000 a year.

"A regional casino would bring major regeneration benefits to the city - a boost to our economy in terms of growth and visitors," he said.

"Many of the proposals for example have five star hotels connected with the whole regeneration package."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch a report on Glasgow's super-casino bid



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