Operators lose battle against government casinos

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Casino operators today lost their High Court battle to halt the 17 government-proposed casinos around the country

The operators were represented by the British Casino Association, which argued that the profits of existing casinos could fall by £120m a year because of Labour’s plans to introduce one supercasino and 16 other casinos of varying sizes.

The association failed to persuade the court that Labour’s casino policy was treating the country’s 138 existing gaming establishments with ‘blatant unfairness’.

The BCA’s lawyers said during the trail that in drawing up the expansion policy, culture secretary Tessa Jowell had ‘failed to comply with her duties of fair consultation’.

But Mr Justice Langstaff said today that the legal challenge failed on all counts.

The Casino Advisory Panel announced in January this year that Manchester would house the supercasino.

However, the plans are in disarray after the House of Lords blocked the decision in March. Manchester is now waiting for the government to decide its fate.

If the scheme proceeds as planned, eight larger casinos will be built in Great Yarmouth, Kingston-upon-Hull, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newham, Solihull and Southampton.

The areas lined up to receive smaller casinos are Bath and north-east Somerset, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lindsey, Luton, Scarborough, Swansea, Torbay, Wolverhampton.

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