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Old Folks scupper Super-casino

Are residents in a Westminster Retirement Home guilty of institutionalised stupidity?

Published on March 29th 2007.


Old Folks scupper Super-casino

Yesterday several Old People in a London asylum called the Upper Chamber, rejected the decision to build a super-casino in Manchester. The city had won the initial bid through the independent Casino Advisory Panel but the Old People decided that there had been a ‘general misunderstanding’. Amongst other things not enough emphasis had been put on ‘the need to minimise the harm from gambling’.

A Casino Advisory Panel spokesperson admitted they’d made a fundamental mistake. “We only spent 16 months in careful, objective analysis of the evidence. Obviously a bunch of old people in a talking shop know better.”

Confidential questioned some of the Old Folks in the so-called House of Lords - the only retirement home where residents get paid. Didn’t they know that it was easier to gamble on the internet and bet larger sums than the super-casino would allow, had they never seen the gambling channels on TV after midnight? Wouldn’t it be better to enjoy a bet in a controlled, social situation such as a super-casino, with maybe a bit of entertainment thrown in?”

Lord Grandpa of Simpson responded, “Stop making up words like the internet to confuse us. We’re completely against the lower classes gambling even small amounts of money in buildings of this nature and so are all the staff in my stables otherwise I’ll fire them. I’ve got a good tip for the 4.45 at Kempton Park if you want?” He then led the inmates in a rousing rendition of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’.

Meanwhile in East Manchester the celebrations continued late into the night. One resident told Confidential, “We’re delighted to be given this opportunity to remain one of the most deprived areas in the UK. The super-casino could only have brought untold employment which we never wanted. We’re very grateful to the Old Folks down south for keeping us in our place.”

Confidential tried to contact Blackpool for their view but the only response was an answering phone message. This dated from January when Manchester won the super-casino approval. The message said, “it’s not fair, it’s just not fair, we needed it so much.”

Were the House of Lords right to stop the super-casino? Have your say below.

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48 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

radMarch 29th 2007.

just wondered what part of Blackpool Mr X lives,or is he the mayor.The casino belongs in Manchester,may be the lords think we have enough to do with cotton mills to gamble!!!

Lord Brett SinclairMarch 29th 2007.

Yes it was. I have yet to meet one person who thinks it is a good idea. Whether Blackpool should have it, given that their bid was truly inept, is another matter. On another matter glad Schofield is on board, perhaps we'll now get some incisive, well informed reviews laced with a touch of his trademark pomposity (which is to be applauded).

Chris PaulMarch 29th 2007.

93 good stuff and 7 gambling floor - good or bad depending on your POV - but it's not very liberal is it to ban people's pleasures? Like Gerald Kaufman I'll not be at the tables ot the slots myself. But I resent Cllr John Leech MP voting against Manchester's interests. I resent Cllr Simon Ashley saying he will have a quiet word with the Glibs and if he did so failing so miserably. I resent Lib Dem Lords leading the nixxing amendment and 12 Lab ones following these fools. And it is obvious that once again Keith Bradley's oratory could not overcome complacency and disorganisation.

AnonymousMarch 29th 2007.

I for one think that no good could have come from the 'Super-Casino'. Areas of poverty can't benefit from the introduction of high value slots etc. look what happened to Atlantic City in the US and Vegas is hardly a great advert when you look behind the gloss of main st.Manchester has too much to lose, give it to Blackpool; at least it couldn't make matters worse there.

Tommy TVMarch 29th 2007.

I can't understand why a load of labour peers would want a super-casino in Blackpool. Anyone would think the Labour party usually held its annual conference there.

KieronMarch 29th 2007.

I watched a programme recently regarding Blackpool and the main backdrop to it all was the Super Casino and that people in Blackpool i.e. business OBJECTED to it all i.e. (which you do not see portrayed on the news) the existing slot machine companies the council obviously was behind it but when asked "what will Plan B be if they did not get the Casino was WE HAVE NOT GOT ONE, what a way to run a council and surely if they did get a Casino would they be able to manage it or would they run Blackpool into the ground again? I go once in a blue moon to Blackpool just to remind myself how grim it is.

badgeMarch 29th 2007.

oh it had to be labour's fault didn't it and nothing to do with the toffs at the house of lords. i suppose it's labour's fault we have low unemployment and low interest rates is it?go kiss maggies prune like bottom!

AnonymousMarch 29th 2007.

This is getting annoying now! Manchester won the bid race to get the first casino as an independent body said that the bid put forward was the best of ALL put forward. The Blackpool bid was fundamentally floored saying a casino is the only way to regenerating the area, and because of that an independent body said no to Blackpool... Now just becuase your favourite didnt win lets stop throwing your toys out of the cot and lets be grown up about this! There WILL be other casinos to follow if this first one is successful!!!!

SteveMarch 29th 2007.

The funniest article I've read since VIZ magazine. Amazing we live in a political world where three incontinent senile elders can put an X in the wrong box and stop Britain from progressing. It's only a matter of time before this useless chamber is disbanded, maybe then they can turn it into the Westminster casino.

A Sensible manMarch 29th 2007.

Anonymous says "Blackpool is far too small and inaccessible to travel to, to handle the casino. There just isn't the demand over there". This is an ace observation from someone who unselfishly looks forward to the casino because it will "provide fantastic days out for my family within easy reach". It's a well known fact that there are more hotel beds in Blackpool than there are in the whole of Portugal, and this is because it is THE holiday and short-break destination for thousands, both from the North West and beyond. They get there along a motorway network that actually delivers them right into the heart of the town. It is more accessible than Manchester and, I would argue, needs regeneration far more than Manchester does. Perhaps the Lords are reacting to the fact that the entire nation beyond the M60 was stunned when Manchester won the original bid, and they won't let the government railroad this through when there has been no debate on the subject. Manchester wasn't the rank outsider because it was the strongest option, it was because it was the weakest. Stop messing about - put it in Blackpool alongside all of the other nonsense that Blackpool thrives on, and all its visitors flock there to find.

georgeMarch 29th 2007.

Blackpool was not the problem, a super casino in the UK was never going to get passed through the house of lords. What a complete waste of tax payers money and time from the labour goverment - nice one Tony Blair and Co!

MarkMarch 29th 2007.

It's fantastic that Manchester isn't the the "one" this time. The City is vibrant, exciting and has more than enough to welcome visitors/tourists. Blackpool needs redevelopment quickly as visitor numbers are dropping year on year. There was a fair bit of gloating when Manchester was initially awarded the super casino license....not any more. Sometimes a dignified silence is the best option.

sabi rockerMarch 29th 2007.

If like me you were born in the seventies and always wondered what the swinging sixties were like? Then take a trip to Blackpool circa 2007 'the land that time forgot'

Would have been a wasteMarch 29th 2007.

Why choose the most run down scratty area in manchester in the first place - how supid to think that people would want to travel nationwide to go to a casino there!! Blackpool is the obvious choice - people who think the scrubs of manchester were are sadly delusioned!! Somewhere more central to manchester would have made more sense!!!

NeilMarch 29th 2007.

Putting aside the leftist response to a second chamber simply enforcing its constitutional powers to force the elected chamber to relook at its proposals (after being promised the opportunity to debate the issue and never being given that debate)...has anyone looked at the new taxation rules quietly introduced in last week's budget. Casinos with a profit of over £10M will now be taxed at 50. The previous limit was 12.5 (which has risen to 15) and when the big casino operators were being invited to put their business plans together they were being briefed that it would be a tax of around 21 at a maximum.Whilst 50 of £10M still leaves a fair chunk to most people, to the big corporates it might be enough to make this super-casino (wherever it is) untenable.

AnonymousMarch 29th 2007.

Move the Milennium Dome to Blackpool and put the Super Casino in it. It will kill two birds with one stone. Blackpool needs it more than Manchester does.

ChrisMarch 29th 2007.

Manchester was pick because there were more people (with in the 50 mile catchment area) to provide a better case study on the effects of a super casino. I don’t like the idea of my fellow macunians being used as mass genie pigs for social political tests. Blackpool is welcome to it.

badgeMarch 29th 2007.

the in-breds at the house of lords just couldnt stand the thought of something that might attract tourism,going anywhere outside the south east.

CarolMarch 29th 2007.

I think the same as Kathy,and what happened to democracy? However you do remember John Prescott and the Dome bid?Don't be surprised if it goes to London, or am I just a cynical Mancunian.Devolution for the North West, then we can stop this class division at the border!!

Cllr Mike AmesburyMarch 29th 2007.

Your editorial couldn’t have put this better. By effectively trying to veto the elected chamber this unelected, elephant’s graveyard of cronies has added another nail to its welcome coffin. The democratic will of the commons must be paramount, while the ludicrous Lords decision may delay the Manchester Super Casino this certainly is no lost cause.

LauraMarch 29th 2007.

Has anyone been to Blackpool lately? It's the roughest place I've ever been on a night out! The casino would make it worse-it would be full of dodgy hen and stag louts. The Supercasino is OURS!!!

LizMarch 29th 2007.

just plant dynamite round the Blackpool limits, ignite, and let it float out to sea. Job sorted

RichardMarch 29th 2007.

Joke decision to bring the Supercasino to Manchester - should be a destination/resort location and Blackpool is a no brainer. Think the old folks home looks good for making this decision. The 'real' paid politicos with their noses in the trough delivered a flawed decision - a group of unelected, unrepresentative dinosaurs made a good one.

AnonymousMarch 29th 2007.

Good for the House of Lords! Thank goodness someone is looking out for the poor of Manchester who need a casino in their midst like they need a hole in the head. Believe it or not wisdom can be found in all sorts of people, even including those over 50!

andyMarch 29th 2007.

test 2

AnonymousMarch 29th 2007.

Parking, for a moment, the debate about the best place to but a large casino, isn't the big question to the House of Lords, "How dare you?". The Lords have rejected just 3 motions of this sort since the Second World War. One was to support Rhodesia's apartheid regime, the second was to stop Ken Livingstone running for the London mayoralty and now this! It beggar's belief. Hearing that fire-brand of the left Baroness Kennedy on the radio this morning made me spit. The Red Baroness decided, following a trip to Melbourne, that it was a dreadful idea and so voted against the government on the basis that she knew better than the Casino Advisory Panel. Tony, you promised to reform this anachronistic chamber. This broken promise has just bitten you on the bum! Now that you've tried bringing the joys of democracy to Iraq, can we have a bit more please?

Mr XMarch 29th 2007.

I don't know why you're so into this super-casino. There are far more constructive ways of regenerating areas such as East Manchester; I don't think building a huge attraction that'll bring the middle-classes of Didsbury and Cheshire up to Beswick, get them to give their money to a US businessman and then leave is the best option. The 2,000 jobs will likely be largely minimum-wage cleaning and bar work -- do you seriously expect the higher-paid management positions to go to Beswick people? Blackpool was and still is the best option for this casino; perhaps Mancon should take a trip up there one day!

frustratedMarch 29th 2007.

Independant bodies are supposed to be just that - a fair decision for the good of all concerned! How can the furure of so many be jeopordised by so few.... yet another indicator that geoge orwell was right in 1984 - i think the democracy has been stolen whilst we were all at the pub!

a. curmudgeonMarch 29th 2007.

any smart alecs out there, i know how to spell 'its', ok? it was just a slip-up.

bionictadpoleMarch 29th 2007.

To be honest, if we want to create a "Las Vegas" in the UK the best place is Blackpool. They have agreed to compulsory purchase the whole front and knock it down...let them...it needs it! Blackpool needs this more than manchester, MCC have not delivered on a single promise following the commonwealth games, why should they have more money to throw away?

a. curmudgeonMarch 29th 2007.

i find the tone of the mancon article pretty childish and smug; more facts and less age-ism/name-calling etc would have been nice. like some of the other commentators on here i don't have the full facts on the whole casino scheme and all its implications, and i'm not gonna reiterate the obvious arguments against putting a massive gambling complex in a deprived area. but it seems to me like another step in the commercialisation of manchester i've been witnessing in the nearly 20 years i've lived here. tacky plastic logos on the corn exchange (not to mention the tv screen or the soul-less shops within). manchester the city that forgot taste. it depresses me. everything has to be newer, shinier, bigger.... and branded. the stupid tower of babel which is probably gonna fall over one day and now the 'super' casino. manchester should stop trying so hard and remember it's real qualities. it's becoming a shallow place. and there are loads of casinos already, anyway. regeneration for a price, as a bribe. would an entertainment complex/sports centre/whatever else not be profitable enough without the gambling? who's gonna profit most from this? i don't have the answers, but i just don't buy this.praise the lords, down with 'idiocracy'.

andyMarch 29th 2007.

test rant

AnonymousMarch 29th 2007.

I thought it was a good idea for the super-casino. It would have given people more jobs, it would have put Beswick on the map. I think Manchester and surrounding areas need something doing with them bcause they are all looking dirty and dingy. Broken windows, bottles and rubbish on the floors and i for one do not like travelling through them areas. Maybe the casino would have brought the areas back to life and with alot of people going to the casino they would at least attempt to make the surrounding area look clean as so many people would have visited the casino.

AnonymousMarch 29th 2007.

I think the casino was a bad idea from the start. It is likely that the jobs created would have gone to Eastern European workers and managment positions to people who would be unlikely to like in Beswick, more probably middle class areas such as Sale, Alt or Prestwich. I agree that areas out side the city centre need re gen but we are slowly getting there with or without this casino. In contrast to Liverpool or Leeds (I have lived in both) I think the areas surrounding our centre are probably of a higher standard. I am not saying they don't need work because they do but the super casino was not the way to go about it. Blackpool desperately needs an injection of cash so give it to them. This has just been one big waste of money from the start.

kathyMarch 29th 2007.

The whole thing is ridiculous....and whats more its another money wasting scheme.....I feel law suits coming on. Whether or not you are in favour of the Super casino being in Manchester, Blackpool or the Outer Hebredes, the setting up of the Independent Panel, plus the setting up of each individual bid team who will then have spent thousands and thousands on putting bids together, glossy leaflets, video presentations etc etc etc, must have cost in the Millions in total.Since the announcement we have heard nothing but moaning about how Manchester shouldnt have won in it, now the whole thing has been overturned anyway.....What a complete waste of time and £££££££....Like I said, I can feel the law suits coming on!!!

MossyMarch 29th 2007.

Blackpool is beyong repair. It is a hole. To put a super casino there would be like putting a gem into a dog turd. Manchester is the capital of the North. It is a shining example of regeneration done properly. W

JonathanMarch 29th 2007.

Dear fellow, never knowingly pompous although some of the lower orders believe I am. Toodle-loo. Viscount Schofield

And another thingMarch 29th 2007.

Agree with what Chris Paul just said. But not with some of the other posters suggesting Blackpool can keep it. Blackpool WOULD NOT have got it. The report has them languishing near last in the end - despite the hype. Manchester, London, Glasgow, Sheffield and Newcastle certainly ahead of it. Apart from that Mcr is better placed to do it right and limit the downside that we already have in spades from the hundreds of gambling outlets we have in both the meat world and the techniverse.Blackpool is a red herring. Manchester will do it best. Class not crass.

SeakayMarch 29th 2007.

I could never understand why:a) there was such celebration at the equivalent of getting through round 1 of a series of interviewsb)a super casino would be considered good for employment when it would adversly affect other casinos, clubs, restaurants etc in the Manchester areac)anyone would suppose that the project would provide well paid long term jobs for local people, or would renovate the wider area.

AnonymousMarch 29th 2007.

The Toffs in the House of Lords are now largely Labour appointed and take the Labour whip (ie., vote with the Government): the Government normally has a majority in the Lords; the only way the Government could be defeated on this is if Labour Peers either abstained or voted against the Government in decent numbers: below is the link which gives the way the votes were cast. www.publications.parliament.uk/…/ldordpap.htm#divi…

KieronMarch 29th 2007.

I watched a programme recently regarding Blackpool and the main backdrop to it all was the Super Casino and that people in Blackpool i.e. business OBJECTED to it all i.e. (which you do not see portrayed on the news) the existing slot machine companies the council obviously was behind it but when asked "what will Plan B be if they did not get the Casino was WE HAVE NOT GOT ONE, what a way to run a council and surely if they did get a Casino would they be able to manage it or would they run Blackpool into the ground again? I go once in a blue moon to Blackpool just to remind myself how grim it is.

Lee AllumMarch 29th 2007.

I am all for the super casino. I went to Vegas last year for the first time and the casinos there are fab places, like mini palaces. You don't have to gamble if you don't want to - people watching is fun in itself. Some of the younger folk where I work like to go to the casino at the weekend, not because they've been seduced into the satanic ritual of putting their weekly wage packet on black. But because they know that casinos are nice, safe places to go for a drink with their mates and partners where they won't find themselves at the broken end of some drunk's beer bottle come the end of the night. Let us have our fun.

AnonymousMarch 29th 2007.

Anyone who lives in East Manchester like myself knows how much we need the supercasino. It will bring millions to the area and all the other things expected to be built on the site restaurants etc) will provide fantastic days out for my family within easy reach. Blackpool is far too small and inaccessible to travel to, to handle the casino. There just isn't the demand over there. Plus, they have no experience of project managing a build as big ad important as this one. We have huge numbers of businesspeople travel to Manchester every year who will use the supercasino, and it will be an excellent draw for tourists causing the economy of Manchester to boom. If they take this opportunity away from us I'll be livid!!

Kathy CrottyMarch 29th 2007.

The casino bid also inclued plans to build an Ice Rink & 6* hotel. The Ice Rink would be a great facility for Manchester Residents. A sensible compromise would be to let Manchester AND Blackpool have a super casino. Labour MP's along with Council Leaders are working hard to get a compromise. Watch this space.

SiMarch 29th 2007.

Well put Mark. It's about time that the larger cities in the UK looked outside themselves and realised the effect that they are having on the surrounding regions. "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer"

JohnMarch 29th 2007.

Manchester needs this as much as anyone else. How and why can they turn over a decision that has taken months to make. Having visited Blackpool, it'll take more than a casino to sort out. I won't be going back to Blackpool, casino or no casino!!!

lizaxMarch 29th 2007.

How is it that Politicians can stop what can only be a positive move to regenerate an otherwise depraved part of our country.............shame on them !!!!!

PeterMarch 29th 2007.

What's the problem? Blackpool was the obvious place for the casino anyway!

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