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Prescott Tied to Casino Deal

6 July 2006

LONDON, England – As reported by the UK Guardian: "John Prescott's department was directly involved in plans for a mega casino at the Millennium Dome while the deputy prime minister was holding regular meetings with Philip Anschutz, the US billionaire entertainment mogul, Whitehall documents reveal.

"They show the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) knew that the granting of a casino at the dome was a 'central feature' and 'key plank' of the company's business strategy. They also show that Mr Prescott's officials pressed ministers in the Department for Culture, which is responsible for gambling policy, to meet senior executives at Philip Anschutz's company, AEG.

"Yesterday Mr Prescott's office insisted he had not acted improperly and that at the seven meetings he had with Mr Anschutz in London and Los Angeles between August 15 2002 and July 22 2005 no discussion took place on the casino bid.

"…Mr Prescott remained under intense pressure yesterday over his meetings with Mr Anschutz, which included one at the billionaire's ranch in the US last year.

"In an attempt to close down the furore yesterday, he placed his weekend visit to Mr Anschutz's home in the register of members interests, only a day after saying he had no need to do so.

"…AEG is building a giant concert and cinema complex on the site, in Greenwich, south London, but will make a far greater profit and generate more jobs if it wins the bid for the super-casino and builds it alongside the dome…"

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