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September 25, 2021

Council chiefs will try to capitalise on the defeat over casino proposal

Glasgow set to renew bid for Las Vegas-style supercasino in Britain

(UK).- Glasgow has vowed to re-enter the race to host Britain’;s first "supercasino" if the government decides to resurrect plans scuppered by the House of Lords this week. Originally, Manchester has been chosen for first Las Vegas-style casino in UK.


ouncil chiefs, whose bid lost out to rivals Manchester, will try to capitalise on the defeat by peers over proposals for 16 casinos and one giant Las Vegas-style resort, controversially awarded to the north-west of England.

Meanwhile, plans for a smaller casino in Stranraer have also been thrown into doubt, with Dumfries and Galloway Council admitting it will go back to canvass public opinion.

Tony Fitzpatrick, head of regeneration for the council, said: "Our plans for regeneration never hinged on this. Those will go ahead regardless. The casino was an idea that came late in the day and was an add-on."

Russell Brown, the MP for Dumfries and Galloway, criticised the House of Lords. "I’m extremely angry about the Lords’ rejection of these regulations," he said. "It now means that the position of the Stranraer casino proposal is completely up in the air."

However the delay has pleased anti-casino campaigners, including David Weston who helped secure a 600- signature petition against the proposals. "It doesn’t provide really creative jobs - a lot of them are Mickey Mouse jobs anyway," he said. "It has the effect, we know, of money being sucked out of the community and going elsewhere."

The government has no plans to revive plans for any new casinos until after the May elections at the earliest - a time when the Westminster government will be preoccupied with a change of leadership.

Gordon Brown, the most likely successor to Tony Blair, has made his disapproval for casinos known in the Budget, imposing a new 50% tax rate on the supercasino. But Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, yesterday insisted the plans were "still very much alive".

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "If the opportunity arose for Glasgow to bid in future for a regional casino, we would most likely bid again. The economy and the social reasons for the casino have not changed in the last two to three months. We still believe it would be a catalyst for regeneration of certain areas along the Clyde."

After an advisory panel made Manchester the winning city, critics pointed out that its rivals, Blackpool and Glasgow, were both in more dire need of regeneration. But while a rebellion in the Commons was quelled, English bishops and Liberal Democrat peers joined forces in the House of Lords to throw out the entire order by a margin of just three.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, however, stressed that the plans were approved by 24 in the elected house. "In the Commons, the government won last night. That is the important thing," he said.

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