Bidding for UK’s 1st Super Casino 2006-04-06Posted by clype in Intolerance, Money, Scotland.
Three Scottish local authorities are battling it out for the right to be home to the ‘Las Vegas of the north’.
- West Dunbartonshire and
All have applied for permission to host Britain’s first super-casino, at possible sites on the banks of the Clyde, Ibrox Stadium or south of the Edinburgh bypass. Three other authorities —
- Dumfries and Galloway,
- Renfrewshire and
— have applied for smaller casinos. These would be based on the Stranraer waterfront, Paisley town centre or next to Falkirk Stadium.
- However, the six Scottish hopefuls face stiff competition from 62 other applications across the UK, including Blackpool, Southend-on-Sea and Westminster.
Only one of the 27 bids for a super-casino will be successful, allowing the winner to create a giant regional gaming centre with 4 000 unlimited-jackpot slot machines. Eight areas will be allowed to host a large casino and eight a small casino, both with a maximum slot-machine jackpot of 4 000 GBP. Bids for these have come from 41 councils.
‘The Casino Advisory Panel’ was set up following ‘The Gambling Act’, which liberalised gaming laws, to control the number of super-casinos in Britain.
Blackpool is the favourite for a super-casino, but Scottish authorities will argue that they are most in need of the redevelopment, jobs and tourism the new casinos could bring.
The Culture Secretary Ms.Tessa Jowell, argued the law change would allow gambling to benefit areas needing investment without becoming out of control. However, opponents remain concerned that the casinos will encourage addictive gambling and crime. A ‘Church of Scotland’ spokesman said:
‘One consequence of the liberalisation of the UK’s gambling laws has been to widen the availability of gambling and therefore increase the number of people involved in this activity.
‘This could lead to an increased number of people developing an addiction to gambling.
‘From its pastoral and caring work, the Church is well aware of the grief that such an addiction causes individuals and families, a grief that can often end both in financial ruin and relationship ruin.
‘Therefore, any plan to widen access to gambling and to attract custom through ever-larger prizes would cause the Church great concern.’
Scottish National Party MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Mr.Bruce Crawford, said entertainment venues would be put out of business and poorer people, who are more likely to gamble, put at risk of addiction.
‘I am very concerned about the potential social consequences and the problems of increased gambling, as all the studies show people within 50 miles of casinos are twice as likely to develop a gambling habit.’