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28 October 2014
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Greenwich and Bexley

The O2

Dome casino gamble

By Ayshea Buksh
London will soon find out if it is to get Britain’s first “Super Casino” at The Millenium Dome. But not everyone in Greenwich sees it as a risk worth taking.

The independent Casino Advisory Panel has been looking into which UK city should be awarded the regional casino license.
The Millennium Dome in Greenwich has long been seen as the frontrunner,  competing against Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield and Blackpool.

The panel have been examining the bids bid looking at the social impact of a casino in each city and its effect on the area’s regeneration.
Public hearings were also held for each bid. But with just weeks to go till the panel makes their recommendation to Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, some local people in Greenwich are making a last ditch attempt to get their voice heard.

South East London Against The Casino fear a regional casino would increase levels of crime and create a new generation of young gamblers in the local community.

Just this week, the British Medical Association published a report claiming studies have shown gambling among young people is connected with drug taking and alcohol abuse and has been linked to juvenile crime.  

They called for gambling to be a recognised addiction requiring treatment on the NHS.

DOME RE-BRANDED AS O2

The new owners of the Dome AEG renamed the building The 02 and have ploughed £600 million into a brand new entertainment complex on the banks of the river Thames.

AEG view The O2 as a positive contribution to the local community offering an increase in  jobs and generating tourism for the local area.

If the bid is successful, the casino will form only one part of the centre. The O2 will have a 20,000 seat music arena, a nightclub, 30 bars and restaurants and an 11 screen cinema hosting Leicester square style film premieres.
For the 2012 Olympics, the space will also host gymnastics and basketball.

Intense construction work is under way to transform the enormous space which equals thirteen Albert Halls.  AEG say it is on schedule to open its doors in July, whether or not it gets the casino.

Watch the report on the local reaction to a possible casino by clicking on the icon on the top right hand side of this page.

last updated: 15/02/07
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