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Could a super casino be headed to Blackpool?

Thu, Jul 4, 4:16pm by Staff Writer

A plan to revive plans for a Las Vegas-style super casino in Blackpool has been signaled by the Northern Powerhouse minister, the BBC reports.

Jake Berry said a huge casino could help spark a “once in generation” chance to regenerate the seaside town.

Plans to build 16 super casinos around England were mooted in 2007, before being defeated in the House of Lords.

Anti-gambling campaigners and local politicians said they remain skeptical about the plan.

The project was billed as a massive expansion of Britain’s casino industry by the Blair government, but soon hit the buffers following a public backlash.

Mr Berry said: “It is early days but I think this is a prize worth reaching for.

“So far I’ve had a discussion with the leader of Blackpool Council and I have been speaking to the council to see if it is possible to unbung the legislation which still remains on the statute books.”

Mr Berry said research had shown a casino could create more than 3,000 jobs and bring millions of pounds to the town’s economy.

“But it must be backed by a social welfare fund to reinvest in improving the life chances of the poorest people,” he added.

However, council opposition leader Tony Williams said he remained unconvinced about the location and the demand for a huge casino.

“One of the issues would be whether or not a super casino is still the exciting project it was 10 years ago,” he said.

“Gambling has now become so much an online activity.

“While I welcome any investment into the town I actually think this may not have legs.”

Steven Bate, who was a member of a group set up to oppose the 2007 scheme, echoed the councillor’s comments.

He added: “It is very doubtful if the government could get any legislation through the Lords to allow it. The last attempt was a failure.”

Tighter rules for UK online gambling

Online gambling operators in the UK now face tough new rules for verifying the age of their customers and restrictions on demanding further identification before processing customer withdrawals.

The rules took effect from May 7, 2019.

The new requirements are part of the regulator’s three-year plan to ensure a ‘fairer and safer’ gambling environment for UK consumers.

The old rules allowed operators a 72-hour window in which to conduct age-verification checks.

Operators must now ensure a new customer is of legal gambling age before allowing that customer to deposit funds into their account or make any bet, according to Calvin Ayre.

The new age-verification rules similarly apply to the free-to-play gambling products on operators’ websites.

The UKGC acknowledges that these products are “not technically gambling” but holds the view that there’s “no legitimate reason” why such products should be available to minors.

The new rules also tackle the occasionally shady process of online operators demanding significant identity checks only after a customer wants to withdraw winnings.

The UKGC says 15 per cent of the complaints it received from consumers were about this issue.

Operators will now have to verify name, address and date of birth of customers before allowing them to gamble, while any additional verification questions must be asked “promptly”.

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