Benton calls for large casino licence for Blackpool

Blackpool large casinos Scott Benton
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MP Scott Benton has suggested the government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act opens the door for “additional large casinos in locations such as Blackpool”.


Blackpool South MP Scott Benton has called on the government to allow for additional large casinos in areas such as Blackpool.

“The current gambling review provides a golden opportunity to review the legislation governing casinos and to bring that into the modern age, allowing for sports betting, electronic payments and reviewing the current machine-to-table ratio,” Benton contends, adding that such reforms would “help to create new jobs, investment and additional tax receipts for the Exchequer.”

Ahead of the release of the government’s forthcoming white paper, Benton asked gambling minister Chris Philp whether he would “commit to examining the case for these changes as well as for allowing for additional large casinos in locations such as Blackpool as part of the current review” of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Philp confirmed that the points raised are “under consideration as part of the review”. “Clearly we need to balance the ability for casinos to be economically viable with the need to keep players safe and we are exploring how the current rules can be improved with those purposes in mind,” he stated. “I am also conscious there are seven unused licences in relation to casinos under the 2005 Act, and I have heard his powerful representations on behalf of Blackpool, particularly with the levelling-up agenda in mind.”

The Conservative Party’s 2019 general election victory was due in large part to winning a significant number of seats in northern England. Lorien Pilling, director of Global Betting and Gaming Consultants, noted the party “will be keen to retain those parliamentary seats and will likely throw investment into those regions”.

Benton’s most recent proposal represents a scaling back of previous Tory suggestions about bringing a super casino to the north of England. In July 2019, former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry mooted reviving the super casino concept – first proposed under Tony Blair’s Labour government – in Blackpool.

Manchester had previously beaten Blackpool’s bid in the tender for the UK’s first super casino licence, before the project was abandoned entirely after Gordon Brown became prime minister back in 2007.





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