The Government’s process of choosing the location for the UK‘s one Las Vegas-style supercasino could be heading for a legal quagmire.
Some of the eight councils whose venues were shortlisted have already tied up with a major casino operator and property developer to build and run the sites if they win the coveted licence – but these agreements may have to be expensively unwound when the contract is awarded.
This is because the Government’s casino legislation says that once the successful city is chosen, it must hold a full and open tender process for the casino contracts in compliance with European competition laws.
„How are councils going to argue they have granted contracts fairly when they’ve been working with one big player for months, if not years?“ said one leading operator. „Will they have to tear up the deals they’ve struck with companies? And if so, will they have to compensate them?“
There are concerns in the industry that the issue could end up making the Government looking foolish if legal wranglings cause long delays to the opening of Britain’s first supercasino.