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Lords reject casino proposals

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March 29 2007

The Government suffered a shock defeat in the House of Lords yesterday as Peers rejected proposals for 17 new casinos by 123 votes to 120.

The motion passed in the Commons with a majority of 24 votes, despite the rebellion of 18 Labour MPs. Ministers will now have to review the proposals, which include those for the UK’s first super-casino, awarded to Manchester in January this year.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Angie Robinson, described the decision as “complete madness” and said that the development “would have brought much-needed jobs and investment to one of the most deprived areas in the country.”

The vote has been viewed as “potentially good news” by previous front-runners, Blackpool, but comes as a considerable blow to Scotland’s only successful casino license bid.

The proposals for a small casino in Stranraer were to play a central role in the town’s larger regeneration plans.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell now faces pressure from both houses to review the selection process for the super-casino license, but admitted that there was no immediate “plan B.”

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