Comment: Manchester deserves supercasino prize

Dominic walsh –

The Great British Public loves it when the underdog wins, so Manchester’s selection as the location for the UK’s first regional supercasino will be warmly welcomed.

The process had been billed as a two-horse race between the Millennium Dome in Greenwich and Blackpool, but none of the hot money had been put on Sportcity in East Manchester. Its location in one of the country’s most deprived areas certainly fulfills the regeneration criteria that were at the heart of the Casino Advisory Panel’s deliberations. That factor, together with the catchment area of more than 10 million people, will also allow the Government to test the social impact of a supercasino, ultimately determining whether further such licences are eventually awarded to some of the unlucky runners-up.

Manchester has already shown it can deliver big projects. Witness the 2002 Commonwealth Games which were deemed to be a big success, not only in sporting terms but also in accelerating the growth and development of the city as a whole and providing a catalyst for regeneration of East Manchester in particular. Witness, too, the rebirth of the city centre after the IRA bomb in 1996.

Manchester’s compelling case took it from outsider to winner in the final furlong. But the underdog now needs to show that it has the bite to go with its bark

From Casinos in Britain

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