The Government will reveal the locations of 17 new casinos, including one giant Las Vegas-style supercasino with 12,250 slot machines, at 11am.
Seven areas, including Blackpool, London's Greenwich, Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff, Sheffield and Manchester have been shortlisted for the right to build a supercasino. But Blackpool and Greenwich have emerged as frontrunners.
While Britain's existing 138 casinos are allowed to host 20 slot machines, the new supercasino will get a licence for 1,250. Large casinos will be allowed up to 150 machines, with the new generation small casinos up to 80.
With a customer area of 5,000 sq m, the winning venue will include a hotel, conference facilities, restaurants, bars and live entertainment venue. But while Government ministers say the casino will boost regeneration, opponents argue it will lead to more problem gambling and related crime.
Most analysts predict Greenwich Council, which oversees the former Millennium Dome site, will win the one supercasino licence. However, some have tipped Blackpool as the likely winner, saying it offers the best chance to regenerate a run down area.
by Kerstin Kuhn
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