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

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

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

Lords scupper super-casino plan

Lords scupper super-casino plan
Artist's impression of the proposed Manchester casino
The panel recommended a super-casino be built in east Manchester
Peers have rejected a decision to build the UK's first super-casino in Manchester by just three votes.

It means the plans will not be implemented, even though MPs backed the proposal by a majority of 24.

The Lords vote also means that plans for 16 smaller casinos around the UK will have to be shelved.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said that, after the defeat, she wanted "to reflect on the outcome" and promised new proposals.

17.8.08 21:06, kommentieren

Singapore approves casino plan

Singapore approves casino plan

Now Singaporeans will have more glamorous gambling locations
Singapore has approved a controversial plan to legalise casino gambling.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the government had decided to give the go-ahead for two casinos - on Marina Bay and on Sentosa resort island.

The question of legalising casinos had sparked an unprecedented public debate in Singapore, with almost 30,000 people signing a petition against the idea.

But Mr Lee said the casinos were necessary to help Singapore attract more tourists.

"We want Singapore to have the x-factor - that buzz that you get in London, Paris or New York," he said, saying that his country was in danger of becoming a "backwater".

The casinos, which will be operational by 2009, are central to Singapore's goal of doubling the number of tourists to 17 million a year.

But religious groups expressed alarm at the plan.

Singapore's Roman Catholic Archbishop Nicholas Chia said he understood the economic arguments, but said "we are very worried about the cost of human, family and social well-being".

"We will try to dissuade people from being addicted and educate people on the ill-effects of problem-gambling."

Asia's legal gambling industry is valued at about $14bn (£7.7bn) a year, and Singapore would like to have its share of this business.

Such a casino would also help Singapore recover much of the $180m a year it is estimated that Singaporeans spend each year in neighbouring Malaysian casinos.

17.8.08 21:08, kommentieren

Who are casino losers?

MPs have urged the government to relax the laws on gambling, saying they don't think it will create social problems. But a similar plan on the other side of the world didn't have such a happy result.
The image of a casino is one of glitz, where you might stumble on James Bond casually playing blackjack.

The reality in Auckland, New Zealand, has not proved to be quite so glamorous.

17.8.08 21:09, kommentieren

'Super casino' plans scaled down

Critics fear a rise in the number of problem gamblers
Plans for up to 40 Las Vegas-style "super casinos" across the UK have been scaled down by the government.
Its Gambling Bill has faced opposition from MPs, including Labour members, who fear an increase in gambling addicts.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell told Labour MPs that only eight such casinos will now be allowed to open initially.

Whether they lead to an increase in problem gambling and help regenerate their local area will be assessed before any more can be approved.

17.8.08 21:10, kommentieren