|Sol Kerzner, the boss of Casino/resort group Kerzner International, is planning a casino to be built on the site of the Millenium Dome in London, England.|
Kerzner has signed an agreement in principle to build a £210 million casino and resort hotel at the Dome, which closed in 2001. The Dome was widely derided as an expensive folly during its brief opening period, and maintenance of the disused site now costs UK taxpayers £200,000 per month.
Kerzner International recently gained its first UK gaming license. A company spokesman said: 'We are monitoring a number of opportunities in the London area. We hope to become a big operator in London.'
The Dome casino plan hinges on deregulation of Britain's gambling industry, which should be effective by 2005.
Kerzner's signed a deal with Millenium Dome owner Anschutz Entertainment Group Europe (AEG), which is creating an entertainment and sports complex in the Dome. It hopes to start building within a year of gaining final planning permission, which is anticipated for spring next year.
An AEG spokesman confirmed it was negotiating with various parties: 'There has been speculation about a possible casino at the Dome since day one and AEG believes that a casino could play a part in the overall entertainment mix.'
Kerzner International also owns the Atlantis hotel and casino resort in the Bahamas.
Following the deregulation and the opening of the new casino, Kersner could apply for licensing to offer his Millenium Dome property online, replacing the CasinoAtlantis.com online casino which they withdrew from last year.