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Newcastle makes super-casino shortlist

Date 17 Sep 2006

Newcastle is still in the running for a super-casino licence after the shortlist was revealed yesterday by the Casino Advisory Panel.  Newcastle is one of eight towns and cities shortlisted by the Government to play host to a regional gaming establishment. Middlesbrough, which failed in its bid to bring a super casino to the town, is still on a list of 31 places shortlisted for large and small casinos. It is joined on the list by South Tyneside. Joe Docherty, Chief executive of Tees Valley Regeneration which is backing the Middlesbrough bid, said: “I make no apologies for being very ambitious on Middlesbrough’s behalf and going for the big one first! But we will now turn our attention to making sure that the panel is fully aware of Middlesbrough’s fantastic bid for a large casino. “We tick all the boxes the Government is looking for in terms of regeneration need, availability of local workforce, public support and political will. “We have even thrown in a few extras - such as the founding of the country’s first Gamcare office outside London – which could actually lead to a reduction in problem gambling in the area.” Chairman of the Casino Advisory Panel, Professor Stephen Crow, said: "I know that our decisions will cause disappointment to some, not least to authorities who had looked to their casino proposal as a means of alleviating severe problems of deprivation or even improving social conditions and meeting the need for economic regeneration. But the competition has been very strong, and so it is inevitable that some proposals, good enough though they may be in themselves, have to yield before more powerfully justified cases.”The next step in the Government’s decision making process will be for the CAP to organise examinations in public at which interested organisations can ask to make representations. Eight licences for large casinos will be awarded and the final decision is expected by the end of 2006.

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