London (Reuters) – Politicians are expected to back a surprise proposal to build the country’s first Las Vegas-style supercasino in Manchester.
Next Wednesday’s debate in parliament is set to back an independent panel which recommended the northern city for the new the 5,000 square metre venue ahead of favourites Blackpool, Glasgow or the Millennium Dome.
Government sources say the majority Labour Party in parliament is pressuring its members to back the plan.
Critics have slammed the government’s guidelines for the selection process, arguing that they worked against smaller towns such as Blackpool.
Last week Sports Minister Richard Caborn rejected calls for a special clause to be added to allow the location of the supercasino to be debated on a separate bill.
Once the decision is ratified, firms looking to run the supercasino or any of 16 other large casinos will have to be approved by the Gambling Commission before they can submit proposals to the relevant local authorities.
Bookmakers tout Kerzner International as favourite to run the Manchester venue, followed by Las Vegas Sands and then Ladbrokes, U.S.-based Harrah’s Entertainment, Genting group and MGM Mirage, while leisure group Rank has also said it will look at all 17 licenses.