Casino plan rejected by council

A Kent town will not be getting a casino after the local council decided having one would not benefit the area.

Dartford Borough Council cabinet voted unanimously to withdraw its application from the government’s casino shortlist.

Council leader Jeremy Kite said: „The government told us there would be regeneration opportunities, but we’ve decided that they aren’t there.“

The council’s decision followed visits to casinos in London with a local vicar, Reverend Martin Henwood.

Mr Kite said he had found „very little evidence“ that a casino would regenerate the town.

He said: „Looking at Dartford there is absolutely no possibility in my view that a casino would bring anything like the proper employment or real growth in the town that we need.

„My job is to make sure we’re a dignified town and we stay that way. I want us to be a town that’s recognised for our history and our achievements. We don’t want Dartford to become known as the casino town.“

Dartford Borough Council cabinet is made up of five Conservative members and one member from the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents Association.

Dr Howard Stoate, Labour MP for Dartford, said the casino was not right for the town even though it would have brought jobs and other economic benefits to the area.

„I don’t want Dartford to have a collection of tawdry casinos and shabby shops. Dartford deserves the absolute best and nothing less.

„The Thames Gateway development will create thousands of new jobs in the area.“

GBP 4,000 jackpot

In May Dartford failed to make it to a shortlist of eight possible sites for Britain’s first Las Vegas-style „super-casino“.

Only one site will eventually get the go-ahead for a super-casino with unlimited slot machine jackpots.

More than 60 local authorities applied for the small and large casino licences.

Large casinos will have up to 150 slot machines with a maximum jackpot of GBP 4,000, while the smaller ones will have up to 80 slot machines.