British Prime Minister David Cameron said his government would look “favorably” on a fresh bid by the Irish Sea resort town of Blackpool for a license for as many as 80 table games and 150 limited-prize slot machines.
Blackpool Council, which is trying to attract investment in the city’s old Central Station rail site—shuttered decades ago and now used as a parking garage—is definitely interested.
Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said, “We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further and to consider how this might help us to develop the Central Station for the benefit of Blackpool’s residents and economy.”
The country’s 50-year-old gambling laws were reformed in 2005 to allow, among other things, for as many as eight so-called “supercasinos,” a development class permitted up to 1,250 machine games with no caps on bets or prizes. The plan ran into a firestorm of opposition in Parliament, however, and eventually the number was whittled down to one, which was awarded to
Since then, only two post-reform casinos are up and running out of 16
licenses handed out. Eight of those are for the “large” class of casino that Cameroon envisions for Blackpool.
“If Blackpool Council wanted to do something in that space, then we would look upon it favorably, but I don’t think there’s an option to put the supercasino back on the table,” he said.
The city is hoping for something along the lines of what Genting is developing next to the LG Arena in Birmingham—a £150 million casino slated to open next year with 170 hotel rooms, restaurants and bars, a cinema and retail shopping.