council to select NEC's £300million scheme
England -Controversial plans to build a Las Vegas-style
super casino at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre
were set for a major boost after Solihull Council, which
has responsibility for issuing planning permission on
the NEC site, was expected to back the £300 million
casino scheme at a meeting.
members in Solihull are set to discuss the plans and,
if agreed, will mark the NEC as its preferred location
for the casino. That could scupper the rival Birmingham
City FC stadium scheme.
NEC's plan was revealed last month, just weeks after Birmingham
City Football Club unveiled rival plans to build a super
casino as part of a new 50,000 seater stadium in Saltley,
Birmingham. NEC bosses want to build an 800,000 sq ft
complex which would also boast a hotel, restaurants, bars
and sports facilities, but with the Government capping
the number of super casinos in the UK to just eight, Birmingham
would only be allowed one.
director for Solihull Council, Julian Wain, stressed that
any planning or licensing permission for the casino would
have to be dealt with by the council's relevant committees
at a later date.
he added: "We are arguing that the NEC is a good
site for a super casino in economic terms.
tourism is very important and we would hope that the benefits
would be felt in Solihull.
NEC is a leisure and business destination in its own right
and we would argue that a casino at the NEC would create
a more complete visitor experience and enhance the attractions
that the NEC has.
would say that the concerns people have over casinos would
be better addressed in a super casino. There would be
Power targets online poker profits
reported by the Times Online UK
POWER, Irelands biggest bookmaker, will this week
launch a suite of online poker games to capitalise on
one of the most lucrative areas of internet betting, writes
The bookmaker is planning a soft launch of
Paddy Power Poker, which will involve an initial 200 players
who have been pre-registered. An icon for the poker games
was recently added to the Paddypower.ie website, although
this has not yet been enabled. Analysts estimate that
about £100m (€143m) a year is bet on online
poker in the UK alone.
company is targeting Irish and British players but the
games will also be open to residents of some other European
Power will act as a facilitator for players, offering
them the opportunity to play live over the internet with
players hosted by other sites. This makes it no-risk betting
for the bookmaker, which will typically earn about 2%
of each pot.
company will also organise online tournaments, charging
a fee for each entry. Players will be required to put
a minimum €10 or £10 into their betting accounts
but the bookmaker will not extend credit. Novices will
be able to play for stakes as low as 5p or 5c and small-stake
gamblers are expected to account for a large volume of
traffic on the site.
Power has already enjoyed success with its online casino,
which was launched in January 2004. In the first six months
of last year, the bookmaker earned an operating profit
of €1m from the venture. The company was also recently
voted by readers of the Racing Post as the best online
betting website among 18 different providers in the UK
betting has revolutionised the image of poker. The game
has also had its profile raised by high-stake tournaments
carried by Channel 4 and Sky in Britain.