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Swansea council seeks guidance

30 March 2007

SWANSEA, England – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Swansea Council is seeking guidance from Westminster after plans for a new generation of casinos in the UK were turned down by the House of Lords.

Officers will be getting in touch with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport following a narrow rejection of the government's Gambling Order by peers.

The House of Commons had backed the regulations but Ministers are now said to be reflecting on how to take the plans forward for 17 new casinos across the UK.

Swansea was one of eight locations to have been recommended to receive a small casino licence.

Manchester was recommended for the one regional casino licence and eight other locations were recommended for a large licence but the House of Lords vote means the plans for all 17 have now been put on hold.

The recommendations were backed by the Casino Advisory Panel and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport but the rejection of the proposal in the House of Lords means Swansea Council is now on stand-by for further developments.

A new casino licence in Swansea would have allowed a minimum total customer area of 750 square metres and would permit up to 80 gaming machines with a maximum jackpot of £4K.

Additional betting services other than bingo would have been allowed.

Swansea Council Leader, Cllr Chris Holley, said: "This result may mean the plans will be put on hold but we must now wait for guidance from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and for further developments in London.

"A lot of work went into our application for one of the new casino licences and, if eventually approved, we would like to attract a first-class leisure destination that would generate lasting employment and potential for regeneration.

"The addition of such an attraction in Swansea would complement other ongoing initiatives, such as the redevelopment of the leisure centre and the David Evans site, that are changing the face of the city and generating investment opportunities."

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