D-day for large casino in Great Yarmouth

A DECISION over who will be awarded the town's large casino licence is set to be made today.

For it is D-Day - with the licensing committee meeting - and depending on the length of discussions a public announcement could be made by the end of the day.

The borough council's casino advisory panel met at the Star Hotel earlier this month for a final points scoring session to determine which candidate – Pleasure Beach boss Albert Jones or Palace Casino owner Patrick Duffy – it will recommend.

The secret assessment of the panel, made up of Tory councillors Barry Coleman and Mark Thompson, Labour leader Trevor Wainwright and senior officers Jane Ratcliffe, Seb Duncan and Peter Warner, is likely to be a decisive factor in today's deliberations.

It is understood the panel followed procedures adopted in Newham, in East London, which decided its large casino operator last year.

When deciding the relative merits of Mr Jones's planned scheme, The Edge, next to the outer harbour and Mr Duffy's proposal, which would entail the expansion of his Church Plain casino, the panel is thought to have given weight to a range of criteria from the impact on regeneration and job creation to any negative effects on problem gambling or other local businesses.

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