UK Casinos Restricted to Remote Locations?

If the U.K. builds new casinos, they might be constrained to out-of-the-way or poorer areas where potential U.S. casino companies aren’t interested in building. As it is, these would-be casinos wouldn’t be open for business until the year 2008.

Casino companies would most likely be allowed to apply for licenses in 2006 or 2007 after an autonomous government panel figures on which areas will be proper for casino construction.

U.S. casino giants that include the Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and Ameristar Casinos Inc. have tentative plans to construct Las Vegas-style resorts in Great Britain.

There are U.K. casino operators that are against the bill, believing it will give preferentiality to Las Vegas and other investors from other outside countries, infringing on U.K. businesses. The issue of problem gambling has caused British lawmakers to strictly limit the number of casinos to only allow 8 for each category developed. The categories are based on the size of the casino – small, large and resort destination casinos.

London, which is obviously a highly populated area, could possibly only permit two casino sites, leaving other prospects to build in far -off locations that are less populated and have lower income families.

If this is to be, many would-be casino companies will most certainly pull out of any further planning, leaving only a few real brave companies willing to develop in these designated areas. While it is known that building casinos in the poorer areas would no doubt help local economies, casino companies will be leery of any profits.