Mansfield still in casino race

The town has been selected as one of just 31 authorities in the race to win a licence for a small or large-sized casino complex.

But now, the Government-appointed Casino Advisory Panel (CAP) says there may not have been a ‚level playing field‘ so far –– as some authorities who were left off the shortlist in May might not have realised they could appeal.

Said CAP chairman Prof Stephen Crow last week: „The panel is prepared to extend the shortlists if, taken together with the existing information previously submitted, a local authority produces information the panel considers justifies its inclusion on the relevant shortlist.“

But he insisted that this would not threaten the position of authorities like Mansfield which have already made it through to the next stage.

The panel has also released a table showing how each of the 53 authorities that put in a bid for a large or small casino had scored under detailed assessment.

Authorities were judged on criteria such as social impact, the need for regeneration, regional context, and the authority’s willingness to license a casino.

It has been revealed that despite not scoring particularly highly in the assessment –– achieving just 35 out of 80 points –– Mansfield nonetheless made it onto the shortlist and beat some higher-scoring authorities such as Leeds and Chesterfield.

CAP says the shortlisted bids were not simply chosen on how well they scored, but through a complicated ’sifting process‘ that also involved detailed discussions held by the panel.

A decision on whether Mansfield will get a licence for a casino is expected in December.