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Casino firms challenge Newham

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Newham LBC faces judicial reviews over claims it did not take regeneration into account when awarding a casino licence.

Both of the unsuccessful bidders, Great Eastern Quays Casino (GEQC) and Apollo Genting, have launched legal challenges after the council announced that Aspers had won the competition.

GEQC challenge stated that the council had failed to not taken regeneration into account in the bid, as is required by the Gambling Act 2005.

Fergus Kinloch, director of City & Eastern, the developers of the site where GEQC’s casino was to be located, told Local Government Lawyer that their proposal would have provided £37m more in community benefits than Asper’s bid and three times as many full-time jobs.

Apollo Genting managing director Mike Nuttall told the magazine that the licence had been awarded to a party offering between one-quarter and one-fifth of the other bidders.

“Newham Council has in our view needlessly turned away over £250m of investment plus substantial financial benefits for local residents, and at a time when councils are having to make major spending cuts,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Newham LBC said it could not comment on the specifics of the legal challenge. “The council’s decision-making process to award the casino licence was robust and fair,” she said. “We are aware of the legal challenges and are confident that all aspects of the process will stand up to scrutiny.”

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