City wants open debate on casino - Friday 15th of February 2008

SOUTHAMPTONS elected leaders say the public will help them decide if the city gets a giant Las Vegas-style casino - and if a referendum was held today the answer would be YES.

That is according to an online poll of Daily Echo readers who were asked: "Do you think that Southampton should have a super-casino?"

Voters were largely split over the controversial issue, with 51.8 per cent saying "Yes" and 45.7 per cent saying "No", while 2.5 per cent were "Undecided".

The findings come after the Daily Echo yesterday revealed a huge casino could transform the derelict Royal Pier into a luxury gambling and leisure complex within three years.

It was reported the Government is just weeks away from finally giving Southampton, and 15 other cities, the green light to build new large casinos.

It is hoped a casino development - which would create up to 350 jobs and inject at least £11.2minto the city economy - could be the catalyst for regenerating the waterfront.

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