Betting on a Regeneration Jackpot
"A number of Scottish councils have decided to bid for the government's new super casino licence - gambling on winning it, bringing in tourists and getting cash for regeneration. But are the stakes too high?
"...Through its new Gambling Act the government has decided to test the public mood for more betting facilities and hopes that a new breed of casinos will bring a much needed boost to local economies.
"But critics fear these new casinos will lead to an increase in gambling addiction and other related social problems such as crime and marriage break-ups.
"They are also sceptical casinos would bring an economic boost to an area. Instead they think they won't bring new money in, just take existing business away from established firms.
"Three new types of casinos are to be allowed to operate in the UK. Initially there are licences for eight large casinos, eight small venues and one super, Las Vegas-style, casino.
"...From Moray to Dumfries and Galloway, councils across Scotland have decided to bid for these licences and win themselves a slice of the action.
"The most intense competition will be for the one super or regional casino licence. But all of these new types of casinos will be bigger than anything seen in the UK before.
"The government wants to test the social impact of these casinos to help it decide if more should be allowed.
"But it also wants them located in areas needing regeneration and it is this aspect of the process which is most attractive to councils.
"...They see being awarded a super casino licence as winning the regeneration jackpot..."