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Friday, December 23, 2005
  Birmingham Casino Debate
There has been quite a bit of debate recently about whether or not Birmingham should apply to be a Licensing Authority for a Destination Casino.

The local debate is about whether there should be such a Casino at the NEC or whether it should be linked to the redevelopment of the Blues ground.

The complexity is that if the City Council becomes a Licensing authority then it would only license casinos in Birmingham. The NEC is in Solihull. Furthermore it would have to consider any other applications from within the City - not only one for the Blues Stadium.

My own personal view is that I support proposals to produce a new City of Birmingham Stadium. This could be done in a number of ways - one of which is funded by an in-city Casino.

I am, however, concerned about driving more GDP down the route of gambling as there are problems when people get addicted. People don't always have a good judgement as to probabilities - which is one reason why casinos make money. We do already have a number of casinos in Birmingham. Remember the House Odds for the stock market are negative (in that people get more money out including dividends than they put in).

The vibes in the Corridors of Power about Casinos are that if the legislation remains as it is and there is only one then it will be in Blackpool. That does not prevent Birmingham applying, but we should do so with our eyes open.
 
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