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Who will be the casino winner?

PUBLISHED: 10:14 24 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:27 03 July 2010

Place your bets: Invitations for the large casino licence is expected to go out to developers in the autumn.

Place your bets: Invitations for the large casino licence is expected to go out to developers in the autumn.

THE starting gun for contenders to lodge their applications for the licence to build Yarmouth's large casino is likely to be fired by the borough council in the autumn.

THE starting gun for contenders to lodge their applications for the licence to build Yarmouth's large casino is likely to be fired by the borough council in the autumn.

In the final analysis, applications will be decided by the criterion of “which one offers the greatest benefit to the borough” with the winner likely to be known by the winter of 2010.

The provisional timetable was announced yesterday to casino developers and operators at a casino open day at the resort's tourism headquarters in Maritime House.

Pleasure Beach boss Albert Jones, who wants to build a £35m casino and leisure complex next to the outer harbour, was joined in the audience by Patrick Duffy, who plans a scheme of similar value around his existing Palace Casino, and representatives of developers proposing to build on a council-owned Golden Mile site.

None of the contenders with plans for the Golden Mile site - including and surrounding the Marina Centre - were yesterday prepared to go public with their schemes.

The council's head of regeneration, Tim Howard, told the meeting that the large casino was the “jewel in the crown” of the town's regeneration aspirations, and one that would not come along again.

The authority saw it as helping to combat the issue of seasonal employment fluctuations by bringing year-round visitor attractions.

Bidders for the casino licence would have to demonstrate the delivery of “sustainable economic benefits for the local people”, he said.

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