UK Secretary to revive super casino plans in Northern England

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MP and Under-Secretary Jake Berry said a Las Vegas-style super casino in Blackpool could help spark a "once in a generation" chance to regenerate the seaside town.

A move to build a huge casino in Blackpool has been brought forward by Jake Berry, MP for  Rossendale and Darwen and Under-Secretary of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth. He has said the casino could help revive the seaside town's financial fortunes.

Plans to build 16 super casinos around England were mooted in 2007 before being defeated in the House of Lords, BBC reports.

Anti-gambling campaigners and local politicians said they remain sceptical about the plan.

The project was billed as a massive expansion of Britain's casino industry by the Blair government but soon hit the buffers following a public backlash.

Mr. Berry said: "It is early days but I think this is a prize worth reaching for.

"So far I've had a discussion with the leader of Blackpool Council and I have been speaking to the council to see if it is possible to unbung the legislation which still remains on the statute books."

Mr. Berry said research had shown a casino could create more than 3,000 jobs and bring millions of pounds to the town's economy.

"But it must be backed by a social welfare fund to reinvest in improving the life chances of the poorest people," he added.

However, council opposition leader Tony Williams, said he remained unconvinced about the location and the demand for a huge casino.

"One of the issues would be whether or not a super casino is still the exciting project it was 10 years ago," he said.

"Gambling has now become so much an online activity. While I welcome any investment into the town I actually think this may not have legs."

Steven Bate, who was a member of a group set up to oppose the 2007 scheme, echoed the councillor's comments.

He added: "It is very doubtful if the government could get any legislation through the Lords to allow it. The last attempt was a failure."