Busted – Midland casino bids miss out

Birmingham and Coventry have missed out on the UK‘s first super-casino, it was announced today.

Birmingham Council had backed a plan to build a GBP 250 complex at the National Exhibition Centre site in Solihull, while development work on a casino building at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry had already begun.

But a government Casino Advisory Panel (CAP) today revealed that Blackpool, Wembley Stadium, Cardiff, Glasgow, the Millennium Dome, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sheffield have been put on the provisional shortlist in the competition to host the UK‘s first Las Vegas-style casino resort.

The Solihull bid, along with proposals from Wolvehampton and Dudley, was among 31 venues to be named on a list of sites for less lucrative large and small casinos.

Coventry, however, misses out entirely.

Chairman of the panel Professor Stephen Crow said: „I know that our decisions will cause disappointment to some, not least to authorities who had looked to their casino proposal as a means of alleviating severe problems of deprivation, or even improving social conditions and meeting the need for economic regeneration.

„But the competition has been very strong, and so it is inevitable that some proposals, good enough though they may be in themselves, have to yield before more powerfully justified cases.“

Birmingham City Council has chosen to support plans to build the casino at the NEC in neighbouring Solihull in preference to a scheme to integrate a casino into a ’sports village‘ at Saltley.

Under the terms of the Gambling Act, there will be one super-casino, eight large casinos and eight small casinos.

A final recommendation by the independent body is expected before the end of the year on the new giant gambling venue. It will be allowed to have up to 1,250 unlimited jackpot slot machines.