Friday, November 16, 2012

Casino Concern

Our local authority has been receiving bids to open a new casino in the city. A planning application has been received from Casino 36 Ltd to turn the former Beaches Nightclub on Temple Street into a casino, directly across the road from All Nations Christian Centre. I'm aware that our city centre needs regenerating, but I am concerned that not all regeneration is good for the city. I also think that if we had to have a casino (and the council do seem set on this) then this is in an inappropriate area.

If you're in Wolverhampton, then please would you join with me in expressing concern about this? I invite you to write to Licensing Services,  your local councillor, or to Nick Edwards, Assistant Director for Regeneration (details below).

We want the best for our city. I'm pretty sure this isn't it!

Notes on writing to make your views known

2       When and where to write
BY 27 Nov:                                           OR in the next few weeks to your local councillor and/or:
Licensing Services                       Nick Edwards, Assistant Director for Regeneration
Education and Enterprise
             Wolverhampton City Council
Civic Centre                                          Civic Centre
St Peter’s Square                                 St Peter’s Square
Wolverhampton, WV1 1DA              Wolverhampton, WV1 1DA



3       Some of the concerns:
  • I am concerned that there is a high human cost in encouraging gambling on this scale, which can create or feed addiction
  • There can be devastating effects on an individual and their family when someone gambles beyond their means
  • All Nations Christian Centre has a strong reputation for helping broken families, and people recovering from all kinds of addictions. Placing a casino here is at least unhelpful, at worst destructive.
  • It is a false assumption that it will benefit the local economy, especially when the costs of dealing with family breakdown and medical or law and order consequences are considered.
  • There are better ways of stimulating the local economy which build on the city's reputation for innovative design and skilled work
  • There are other, better uses for a city centre site
  •  If there has to be a casino in the city then it is better situated at the Racecourse where people choose to visit rather than the city centre where there is a high risk of people being attracted into the premises on the spur of the moment and spending money they had not planned to spend, particularly as it is an area of the city where many vulnerable individuals pass through.


4       Background information and other advice
The Council asked the Government in 2008 for permission to award a casino licence in Wolverhampton.  It believes a casino will help with economic regeneration.  In July this year the Council invited expressions of interest: http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/business/licences/gambling/small_casino.htm.
The Evangelical Alliance published some guidance in 2006 at http://www.eauk.org/current-affairs/publications/casino-guidance.cfm .  Although it is a few years old the principles are very sound.

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