No casino is a good thing

AS IPSWICH accepts that it will not be getting a new casino, those who have spent months working on the bid today claimed to be happy at the news.The borough put in a bid to build Britain's first “Supercasino” in the town, but after Ipswich failed to make the government's shortlist, as reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, council leader Liz Harsant said she was relieved by the decision.

AS IPSWICH accepts that it will not be getting a new casino, those who have spent months working on the bid today claimed to be happy at the news.

The borough put in a bid to build Britain's first “Supercasino” in the town, but after Ipswich failed to make the government's shortlist, as reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, council leader Liz Harsant said she was relieved by the decision.

She said: “From a personal point of view, and it is strictly personal, I don't feel that a big casino would have done anything good for the town.

“There are all kinds of problems associated with gambling and I'm not sure that having a big casino would have done anything for the town.”

Council leisure spokeswoman Judy Terry was also philosophical about the decision: “Once the government had said there would only be one Supercasino, no one expected it to be in Ipswich.

“And frankly we wanted it as part of a large leisure complex which would have much more to offer people - for instance a large arena for concerts.

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“The thought was that this should be in the Portman Road area, near the football club. But we certainly didn't want a small stand-alone casino - that would have just stoked up problems.”

She said the council's bid had been a useful exercise, but economic development officers would now be concentrating on other projects.

The site that had been considered for a supercasino is now being considered for a new swimming pool complex to replace Crown Pools.

The government yesterday announced which towns and cities had been shortlisted for the supercasino, including Wembley, the Millennium Dome, Blackpool, Sheffield and Newcastle upon Tyne.

The final decision on where the country's first Las Vegas-style casino can be built is expected to be made later this year.

Have you or someone close to you been affected by a gambling addiction? Call The Evening Star on 01473 324840.

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