Today we find come closer to finding out where the country's first 'super–casino' will be built, along with the locations of a number of smaller casinos.
The front–runners for the main attraction appear to be Blackpool, the Millennium Dome or Cardiff.
Having visited all three (not specifically to check up on their need for a casino, I should point out), I hope it goes to the Dome.
The last thing Blackpool needs is another way for local people to throw money away. The place is pretty destitute in places, and I think the casino's main customers (if built there) will be people who really need to spend the money on something else. What's more, I don't see that a super–casino in Blackpool will be enough to attract some of the high–rollers, who might expect a little more than the grubby streets of the Fylde coast. It's not exactly Vegas.
Cardiff's a possibility, although the city feels very small and I wonder whether the poverty gap might be worsened with the ease–of–access that the casino will provide.
And then there's London. Personally, I hope the Casino goes to the Dome. Virtually the only way to get there is on the Tube (£6 for a one–day travelcard!), and it's much more likely to attract the high–rollers which will prevent it from turning into a high–class Mecca Bingo. While there's a lot of economic problems in parts of London, the city's big enough to insulate the effects that the casino will have. The high cost of travel acts as a deterrent too.
Coventry is one of the contenders, and I don't see why the city is applying. They claim it will 'bring growth' to the city, but I don't think they realise that beyond the low–wages the staff will be on, the casino is hardly likely to be Coventry–owned. The Gambling bill was only brought in to allow big US casinos a piece of the British market. What's more, a casino isn't exactly a status symbol. Coventry, Blackpool and to a lesser extent Cardiff, seem to think they're playing Game of Life, when actually they're going to be messing with the wellbeing of some of their most vulnerable residents.