Only a handful of the 16 small casinos given the government go-ahead yesterday are ever likely to see the light of day, because of serious doubts harboured by operators about their likely returns. Financial Times

Andy Burnham, the culture secretary, finally killed off the super casino planned for Manchester but gave the go-ahead to 16 second and third-tier casinos in locations such as Leeds, Milton Keynes and Newham in east London.

He told MPs there were concerns about the 'negative impact' of a Las Vegas-style resort in Manchester, but said the eight large and eight smaller casinos did not 'pose the same level of risk'. They would have to provide 'non-gambling areas' and observe new restrictions, including a requirement to close for six hours a day.

The government hopes the restrictions will counter the notion it is bringing in 24-hour gambling. The new regime, including measures already announced such as banning free drinks and the use of credit cards, created the 'toughest regulatory controls for gambling in the world', said Burnham.