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Culture Secretary Andy Burnham stepped up and delivered the news that everybody knew was coming. There would be no supercasino in Manchester.
Even after Manchester won the rights to have the supercasino, which would have been the first regional one of its kind in the UK. All the effort that was put in to win the bid, had suddenly gone down the drain.
And for what? Because the Culture Secretary claimed their were “important differences”, between the proposed supercasino, and the smaller casinos that will be built. Sixteen smaller casinos.
“On the basis of the current evidence about the uncertain levels of risks surrounding a regional casino, I do not intent to authorise a regional casino. I know that my decision will disappoint many in Manchester and particularly East Manchester, one of the most deprived areas in the country,” said Burnham said, speaking in the Commons.
There lies the truth behind his decision. there are no greater risks to a supercasino as opposed to SIXTEEN smaller ones. It is only that the area is not worthy of having a casino.
Burnham referred to the idea that a supercasino would bring dangerous “…risk to the public”. He pointed to the fact that safeguards will be in place to protect people at the smaller casinos. Safeguards such as banning using credit cards to play gaming machines or to buy chips.
Casinos will also be limited in the amount of hours that they can operate. they will be limited to eighteen hours a day. also, they will not be allowed to give out free drinks to gamblers.
Seems that all of these so called “safeguards”, would be just as easy to implement in a supercasino. It does not appear that any of these are limited to only being available in smaller casinos.
The political approach was taken by Burnham, and while it may suffice as an explanation, it does not seem like a logical one. Sixteen separate casinos offer no more protection to the public than one supercasino would have, no matter what political jargon Burnham tried to use to cover up the governments decision.