Study tests city casino benefits - Tuesday 28th of July 2009

Hull Council is to spend £50,000 establishing the regeneration benefits a so-called "large" casino would have for the city.

The authority won the right to issue a licence for the casino - featuring up to 150 gaming machines with a jackpot of up to £4,000 - in January 2007.

The £50,000 study is being carried out before the council seeks expressions of interest from developers.

Humber Quays and Albion Square are among the sites being considered.

A new council report said a large casino would create 250 jobs in Hull over the next five to 10 years.

Challenging conditions

It said the study would establish the regeneration benefits the council should look for when considering developers proposals.

They include creating "a unique large scale leisure venue in the city, as well as significant well-paid employment in the hospitality industry".

The report also said any casino plan should be carefully considered because of the recession.

It said: "Clearly the challenges and the opportunities facing the city have been directly impacted by the current economic downturn.

"Whilst such impacts cannot be totally mitigated by any increased expectation from the economic and regeneration benefits to be derived from any future casino operation, the relative importance of securing such benefits has increased.

"In that context... there is a need to strike a balance and manage the regeneration expectations that can be realistically expected to be delivered against a development marketplace that is experiencing challenging conditions."

The earliest the council will seek expression of interest from developers is December.

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