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Harrah’s Plan to Create Las Vegas-like British Casinos

One of the world’s largest gambling corporations, Harrah’s Entertainment, has confirmed that it will be pursuing business opportunities in the UK gambling market to develop its own British casinos, despite the government’s recent rejection of plans for a “super-casino” in Manchester.

It was only in late February that the Government finalized its decision to scrap the super-casino plans, yet the news was greeted with Enthusiasm by Harrah’s and other gaming corporations, who feared that its establishment would threaten their opportunities to also invest in British casinos. While the plans to build the super-casino scared away many gaming giants, including MGM Mirage and Sands Corp, Harrah’s seems to be the only company still interested in establishing in its own British casinos.

In addition to their investment plans, Harrah’s is also interested in creating British casinos that will duplicate the Las Vegas style of gambling; concert halls, restaurants, amenities and dance clubs will all be included, and are all still foreign concepts to British gamblers, despite the current online gambling phenomenon.

Harrah’s has already invested in London Clubs International (LCI), which has a total of 10 British casinos under its name, 4 of which established by Harrah’s since 2006 when it bought the company. Although the Government will not allow for the gambling complex to be operated for more than 18 hours a day, it will allow British casinos to hold up to 80 slot machines and 40 electronic games – 4 times the previous amount allowed for.

With an appeal in motion against the rejection of the super-casino, it seems that the city of Manchester is on its way to becoming the European version of Viva Las Vegas.

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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