UK casinos lure American and African operators
Major international casino operators are planning to invest GBP3.5 in developing the casino industry in Britain, which is now considered to be one of the most attractive places for the gambling business.
The advantages of location in the UK are related to favourable legislation, which can be very lenient to foreign investors. The New Gambling Bill, that is to come before MPs this week, will finally determine the amount to be invested in the casino business. If the UK relaxes its gaming laws, many casino bosses, mainly from Las Vegas, will be prepared to invest in UK casinos, reported The Guardian.
So far, seven operators, five from the US and two from South Africa, have revealed plans to take advantage of the opportunities the new legislation provides. The biggest company, MGM Mirage, announced that it is ready to spend in excess of GBP1billion to build casinos that will contain entertainment complexes as well as 1,250 slot machines with GBP1m jackpots, and numerous gaming tables. The project will however only be given the go-ahead if the legislation justifies MGM’s hopes.
Another Vegas operator, Isle of Capri, has recently announced that it has signed six or so confidential agreements with sports clubs and landowners to develop a GBP350 million project. Allan Solomon, the company’s executive vice-president, commented: “Britain is the most attractive destination at the moment. We like the work ethic and the British people have a much greater willingness to gamble than exists in the United States.”
But huge investments may stir up controversy. Local authorities and regional development agencies will now have to estimate profits originated from inward investment and any negative social consequences.
According to reports, there will be more than 60 so-called ‘regional’ casinos, which will contain 1,250 slot machines across the UK. Full-scale casino development may bring in about GBP 5 billion over 10 years, experts predict.