No, this is not a spoof. Manchester's surprise win of the first supercasino licence (news of it is here) was the result of hard work and perseverance from the city council and their property development partners. Foremost amongst these is Marple Bridge resident Ken Knott, the K in ASK Developments, who partnered with fellow developer Artisan, Kerzner (a major casino operator) and the city council in drafting the plan for a casino at the City of Manchester stadium. officially ASK now has to tender to develop the site, but I would be amazed if anyone else got the job. The full bid is here.
Genuinely, I thought the government would be brass necked enough to give it to the Dome. But the body set up to scrutinise the bids looked at delivery, regeneration and the business case - I never thought Blackpool would be able to make that stack up. Manchester is top draw on putting together winning bids - Sports events, political conferences and trade exhibitions.
But a cautionary thought: having joined new Manchester 235 casino just before Christmas I was absolutely stunned at the scale of the place, but aghast at the emptiness of it. It was soulless and lifeless and bore no relation to the shiny images on the brochures. I just don't think they'll catch on.
Anyway, good luck to Ken Knott and his pals. Please knock down that awful embarrassing spiky statue before it kills someone.