Super Casino goes to Manchester

Well – there’s a turn up for the books. Certainly not what the bookies were predicting, eh, which just goes to show you shouldn’t gamble – it’s a risky thing…

I’ll nail my colours to the mast now. I was in favour of the Casino. I really thought that all things considered it was good for Greenwich. I know all about the crime/addiction/degeration arguments – and can’t say it was all going to be perfect – but nothing is and I tend to think that it was well out of the way of where most people live, in a separate area – it’s a reasonable distance, I’d say, to the nearest current flats. I’m not, of course talking about residential areas waiting to be built – frankly if people choose to move into an area after a casino’s opened then that’s up to them. So I’m mildly disappointed – but not gutted. I wasn’t enough in favour to march…

Anschutz were holding the Dome to ransom, of course, saying that huge amounts of development money would be witheld if they didn’t get their own way (I’ve got to say that if I had been on the committee I’d have not given them the licence just for that – blackmail is never an attractive thing.)It will be interesting to see how much of that development is actually stopped. In fact, I’m fascinated about that entire Penisuala development. I bet Mr Prescott isn’t popular in a few circles today.

Personally, I predict that AEG will have another go. They’ve always said they wouldn’t go for a smaller casino – it was all or nothing for them – but I suspect that now they’ve lost The Big One they’ll change their tune and go for any second round that may just happen to appear.

In the meanwhile, it’s dug Anschutz out of one small hole re. the Tutankhamun exhibition which is due to hit the Dome in November. The Egyptian Head of Antiquities had refused to allow the exhibition to come if there was a casino, saying it would be disrespectful to the relics (though contrary to other reports the famous mask was never going to come our way – it’s too fraglie to leave Egypt now.) Anschutz was going to have to decide whether they should delay the casino to accommodate the exhibition – now they are relieved of that decision.

I know many of you will be delighted to see that the Dome lost the bid. For my money, I think it would have been a good thing.

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