Stranraer's bid to secure a casino licence has received a boost from early studies of its potential.
Stranraer has emerged as a favourite to see a small casino
The Casino Advisory Board has ranked 31 UK bids for smaller scale premises by giving them marks out of 10 in eight different categories.
It saw the ferry town ranked 11th overall in the running for one of the 16 licences on offer.
Dumfries and Galloway Labour MP Russell Brown said the news proved Stranraer was a real contender for a casino.
It was revealed in May that the bid for a Dumfries and Galloway casino was the only smaller scale one in Scotland which would be considered.
"I have always said that the bid for a casino for Stranraer was not a wild long shot as some people thought," said Mr Brown.
"We really are in it to win it and this news is a great start.
"However, clearly more work needs to be done."
He said he was "surprised and disappointed" the bid had not scored more highly on the need for regeneration in the area.
Mr Brown said he hoped that could be strengthened to go along with other key strong points of the bid.
"The ferry link to Northern Ireland gives the Stranraer bid a real uniqueness," he said.
"Too many people simply pass through Wigtownshire to other parts of the country after they arrive on the ferry in Stranraer and Cairnryan.
"I'm determined to ensure more people take time to stay in the area but to achieve that we need to provide more to see and do for tourists.
"That is why regenerating the waterfront is so important to the local economy and a casino could help kick start that regeneration."
The final decision is expected to be handed to government ministers by the Casino Board's panel in December.