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Why Southampton does need a supercasino - by business leader Stewart Dunn
1:55pm Sunday 16th February 2014 in News
A supercasino firm want to apply to operate a new gambling site in Southampton.
Here Stewart Dunn, pictured below centre, the chief executive of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce outlines why it would be a good thing for the city.
"WHY a large casino in Southampton?
"It is seven years since January 30, 2007, when we read the headline: “Casino advisory panel recommends to Secretary of State where 17 new casinos should be located.”
"A completely independent panel recommended Manchester as the best location for the one regional casino licence.
"Southampton was cited as the best location for one of the eight large casino licences, and locations for eight small casinos were also recommended to Government for casino licences.
"The locations chosen had to meet the criteria of best test of social impact, regeneration need and benefits, willingness to license, as well as to take plans forward in close consultation with the community.
"Large casinos will have a minimum total customer area of 1,500 m sq, and be permitted up to 150 category B gaming machines, with a maximum jackpot of £4,000, as well as to offer bingo and betting.
"The economic climate has changed somewhat since this recommendation was made for Southampton to have a large casino and there is now an even greater need to regenerate areas in the city, so that new jobs are created for local people that will offer steady employment and training to a higher skills level.
"A casino would help to fulfil this need as well as bring inward investment to Southampton’s leisure and retail scene from businesses looking to capitalise on the increased number of regular visitors to a casino.
“Cruise ship passengers would enjoy the opportunity to visit the casino as part of their travel experience, which would increase their time spent in the city before or after their trip.
“The waterfront location for a casino in Southampton would give a wonderful setting and a long soughtafter permanent home for the PSP Southampton Boat Show, which contributes significantly to Southampton’s economy every year."