|In statements made in Parliament today, new Prime Minister Gordon Brown has signalled that plans for the UK’s first super casino could be at an end.|
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Brown told the House of Commons that there would be a review of Government policy and that there might be better ways of meeting the economic and social needs of hard-pressed areas rather than creating of a large Las Vegas-style casino.
The northern city of Manchester was surprisingly selected for the UK’s sole super casino in January following recommendations from the independent Casino Advisory Panel (CAP) ahead of the two front-runners, Blackpool and the site of the former Millennium Dome in London.
Regeneration was a major factor in Manchester’s selection and it was thought that CAP’s vote was swayed by the city’s decision to propose its casino for the deprived Eastlands area.
'In September we will have a report that will look at gambling in our country, the incidence and prevalence of it and the social effects of it,” said Brown.
'I hope that during these summer months we can look at whether regeneration in the areas for the super casinos may be a better way of meeting their economic and social needs than the creation of super casinos.'
Brown said that another way of regenerating areas included investing in local infrastructure and promised to look at how the Government could help.
'This is an issue on which there is no consensus found in the two Houses of Parliament and it is an issue now subject to reflection over the next few months,” Brown said.
Brown’s statements mark a significant break with former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s policy on casinos as he was in favour of siting a super casino in both Manchester and Blackpool once investment was in place.