Las Vegas Sands not interested in UK casinos - Saturday 16th of February 2008

U.S. gambling giant Las Vegas Sands is not interested in running any casinos in Britain after the government there scaled back its plan to open a supercasino in Manchester, a top executive said on Wednesday.

"We spent a lot of time with the folks there (in Britain), trying to figure out how to do a larger style of gaming," said William Weidner, Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands, at the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit in Los Angeles. "That didnt work. Mr Brown pretty well shut that down."

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Gordon Brown pulled the plug on plans to build a Las Vegas-style supercasino in Manchester, after calling for a review of the idea last year.

The well-publicized decision, following months of campaigning against the casino by religious leaders and some locals, is expected to be announced in Parliament next week.

Browns government is still expected to give the go-ahead for 16 smaller casinos across the country, but bidding for contracts to run those would not likely interest big U.S. gambling companies, Weidner said.

"The home team won. The operators there in the UK worked the system very well, so they ended up with what they wanted, what I would consider to be sub-optimal, lousy little casinos that kept them in the game and kept us out," said Weidner.

U.S. companies like Las Vegas Sands, Harrahs Entertainment and MGM Mirage have transformed Las Vegas in the last 10 years with a series of enormous and progressively more glitzy casino resorts, and are attempting the same in the Asian gambling enclave of Macau.

The smaller casinos now envisaged in Britain would not be large enough to appeal to the big U.S. operators, said Weidner, and would be better suited to local operators such as Gala Coral and Rank Group.

"And so they have the worst of all worlds -- now they have casinos that wont drive visitors in from further away and theyll just have larger places that take more of the money of the local people," said Weidner.

"If wed have known the game was stacked against us, we wouldnt have wasted jet fuel going over there," he added.

Other news from around the same time

Screw gamblers, bragged Tatts boss - Saturday 16th of February 2008

POKIES giant Tatts has been rocked by allegations its former CEO bragged about "screwing" Victorian ....


Gambling tribes promise to keep sharing profits with reservations that lack casinos - Saturday 16th of February 2008

PALM SPRINGS - California tribal leaders vowed Wednesday to make sure the states poor tribes get the....


Casinos chase high-roller who left £11m trail of dud cheques - Saturday 16th of February 2008

A high-rolling Arab gambler is being chased through the British courts after he wrote a casino two c....


Gambler to sue William Hill for £2m - Saturday 16th of February 2008

A compulsive gambler who lost £2 million is making legal history by heading to court to sue a bookm....


Judge rules casino smoke caused dealers cancer - Saturday 16th of February 2008

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - A judge says years of breathing secondhand smoke in an Atlantic City casino ga....


Gambling Mecca set to run dry by 2021 - Saturday 16th of February 2008

LAKE Mead, the prime source of water for the desert city of Las Vegas, may run dry in 13 years if us....


Church tells Brown to ditch plans for Las Vegas style super-casinos - Saturday 16th of February 2008

Plans for a string of large-scale casinos should be ditched, religious leaders have said. The Church....


Irregular betting investigated in snooker - Friday 15th of February 2008

The Gambling Commission will investigate matches in the Malta Cup after irregular betting patterns w....


Casino project scaled down - Friday 15th of February 2008

Bridge Investment Group is moving forward with its planned 300-room casino hotel investment project ....


No racing as casino kicks off - Friday 15th of February 2008

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course will open their slot machines to the public today. How....