Blackpool South MP Scott Benton has this week called on the Government to authorise a new ‘regional’ or ‘Super-Casino’ in the town.
In a special Westminster Hall debate last week (07/07/2021) Blackpool South MP Scott Benton said:
“I have visited a number of casinos, including the ones in my constituency. Casinos bring many benefits to local communities. Casinos also make a substantial contribution to the Treasury.”
“a Super-Casino would create many jobs in the town…in Great Britain, 13,000 people are directly employed in casinos, with thousands more additional jobs generated in their supply chains. Hundreds of people in Blackpool are directly employed in the three casinos across the town, as croupiers, waiters, security and chefs.”
He asked Minister John Whittingdale MP from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:
“Will the Minister commit himself to reviewing the case for a regional casino during the gambling review and assess the significant positive economic impact that a regional casino could make to a town such as Blackpool, which would be the obvious location to host such a casino?”
The Minister first discussed an earlier bid for a Casino for the town:
“Everybody in the House of Commons believed that that one [Casino] licence, if awarded, should go to Blackpool, and we were all somewhat mystified when the panel advised that it should go to Manchester.”
The Minister then replied that the proposal for a Blackpool Super-casino could go forward, if there was sufficient support in the Town, if Blackpool Council supported the idea and that a suitable operator could be found:
“My hon. Friend is right that casinos provide a significant tourist attraction, as well as a major economic contribution. The legislation is still on the statute book and could therefore be utilised… I would certainly be willing to talk to my hon. Friend and others from his constituency about that possibility”
There is widespread support across the town for a super casino and Ian White, a director of the approved hoteliers group Stay Blackpool suggested
''A Super Casino bringing dynamic investment would stimulate and support a truly, year-round economy that the resort needs.''
Amanda Thompson OBE, owner and managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach stated:
''The creation of a super casino in Blackpool would herald a new powerful tourism brand for the resort and create a new holiday experience that would be a catalyst for inward investment; supporting growth, development and prosperity across all sectors."
Though there is clearly no single silver bullet to change Blackpool’s fortunes, the creation of a Super casino would create many jobs in the town, from contractors working on the site initially, to staff at the premises once complete. There would also be a significant boost to local companies that could offer goods and services to the casino, its staff, and its customers.