Q&A: Super-casino plan ditched

Q&A: Super-casino plan ditched
Manchester was chosen last year as the surprise location of the UK's first "super-casino". The government has now decided to axe the plan.

Why the change of heart?

Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said there was "no consensus" that a regional - or super - casino was needed to boost regeneration in east Manchester. He cited problem gambling as a worry, while another government report suggested setting up alternative projects such as museums, theatres, a shopping centre or sports arena.

Was the U-turn a surprise?

No. Shortly after becoming prime minister last year, Gordon Brown promised a review of the policy. It has been widely thought for some time that the super-casino project would be scrapped.

And how are people in Manchester taking the news?

Not very well. The city council has said it may contest the government's decision through a judicial review. Graham Stringer, the Labour MP for Manchester Blackley, called the government's decision "capricious" and "arbitrary".

17.8.08 21:05, kommentieren

Super-casino proposal is ditched

Super-casino proposal is ditched
Slot machine
The government's plans do not now include a super-casino
The huge Las Vegas-style super-casino planned for Manchester is to be scrapped, the government has confirmed.

Manchester had won the bid to develop a gambling resort but Gordon Brown effectively killed off the plans soon after taking over as prime minister.

But Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said that 16 smaller casinos will go ahead in towns including Leeds, Milton Keynes, Swansea and Stranraer.

Manchester City Council may appeal against the change of plans.

17.8.08 21:03, kommentieren

Casino Royale is next Bond movie

Casino Royale is next Bond movie
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
Brosnan is not returning to the role of Bond
Casino Royale, author Ian Fleming's first James Bond book, is to be the next Bond film, with Goldeneye director Martin Campbell behind the camera.

It will be the 21st James Bond film to hit the big screen, and speculation has been rife over who will play the lead.

Casino Royale was turned into a spoof spy movie by John Huston in 1967, with David Niven in the lead role.

Pierce Brosnan led the past four Bond films but said producers axed him after offering him the chance to return.

Among the favourites to take over the coveted role are Scottish actor Dougray Scott, Oscar nominee Clive Owen and Australian star Hugh Jackman.

17.8.08 21:02, kommentieren