Super casino plan for Leeds LATEST

Council bosses in Leeds today set out their timetable for choosing the firm that will run the city's biggest ever casino.

Government ministers gave the city council permission to license a so-called 'new generation' gaming complex back in February 2008.

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The council later said the task of selecting the licence holder could be under way by the end of 2009.

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Now, though, the local authority has said it does not expect to advertise for potential bidders until February next year.

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A report to the council's executive board says it is hoped the licence

will be issued before the start of 2012.

It also warns, however, that the process could be slowed by legal challenges.

The report does not specify who might mount such challenges but one source could be failed licence bidders.

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Asked about the time that the scheme was taking to get off the ground, a Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: "We are confident that we are now in a position to move forward.

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"Before we can grant a licence .... we must go through a legally complex licensing process, much of which, such as the planning and consultation stages, is set down by government legislation."

Leeds is among eight towns and cities given permission for 'large' new generation casinos, each about three times the size of the current UK norm.

Experts have said Leeds's scheme could create around 700 jobs.

Suggested sites for the development include land between Elland Road stadium and the M621.

A plan to turn the former Majestyk nightclub on City Square into a standard casino recently foundered after magistrates rejected a gaming licence application for the site.

New generation complexes are unlikely to face similar problems as their licences will be awarded by the same councils that successfully lobbied for them to be based in their areas.

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