Peers block supercasino plans

The House of Lords has thrown out plans to build Britain’s first supercasino in Manchester, leaving the Government’s gambling policy in tatters.

Peers yesterday blocked the Government’s much-heralded plans, which also included the building of 16 smaller casinos, voting 123 to 120 against the Gambling Order.

Secretary of Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell (pictured) will not put a fresh order before Parliament before May. A separate vote, in the House of Commons, went in the Government’s favour with MPs backing proposals by 274 votes to 250.

MPs suggested Jowell would have to separate the casinos, allowing the less contentious local venues to proceed.

Last month Manchester was the surprise choice by an independent panel for the country’s first supercasino beating Blackpool and the Millennium Dome in London. Its cause was yesterday given a boost by Blackpool Liberal Democrat councillors and the Noble Organisation, which owns Coral Island, one of the coastal resort’s biggest attractions. They took out a full page ad in yesterday’s The Guardian claiming that it was a myth that Blackpool “needed” the supercasino.

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