Roy Ramm, the Public Affair Director at Caesars Entertainment, has called on the new Conservative government to look into old plans to bring so-called “Super Casino” to the United Kingdom.
It is almost 10 years since the Gambling Act 2005 was introduced which paved the way for lager resort-style casino being built across the United Kingdom. Many towns and cities bid for the rights to host one of these super casinos including Leeds, Manchester, Southampton, Milton Keynes, Hull, Middlesbrough, London and Great Yarmouth.
These super casinos have a minimum of 5,000 square meters of gaming space for customers and up to 1,250 unlimited-jackpot slot machines whereas a small casino has 1,000 square meters of gaming floor and up to 80 slot machines limited to jackpots of £4,000.
Two years after awarding Manchester on of 16 super casino licenses, Gordon Brown ditched the idea of a Manchester-based super casino and since then only two super casinos have been built. Both are owned and operated by Aspers, one in Stratford in London and the other in Milton Keynes.
Ramm has called for the current government to revisit the building of super casinos because controls are now in place to promote more responsible gambling. Speaking to the London Evening Standard, the former Scotland Yard commander said the Playing Safe initiative had transformed the entire gaming industry.
“This is about making sure gambling is a pastime not a problem for people. For a tiny percentage, less than three percent, it becomes a problem. We want to see responsible gambling embedded in the casino industry in the same way food hygiene is in the restaurant industry. If you fleece people there is a chance they will lose their jobs and home. We do not want that.
“The industry has changed greatly since 2007 and become much more committed to responsible gambling. There is an urgent need to revisit the Gambling Act.”
The Playing Safe initiative awards a certificate from independent assessors who interview casino staff, check for bad practice, help casino educate customers about gambling risks and staff are trained to watch gamblers for signs of distress or problem gambling.
In 2014, Lord McNally of Blackpool called for the government to award the seaside town of Blackpool a super casino licence. Long called “The Las Vegas of the UK,” Blackpool was on the original short list for the super casino licences but missed out to Manchester.
Also in 2014, Southampton council approved seven large casino licenses for a project at its Royal Pier.