Manchester United Betting Big on New Super-Casino at Old Trafford

LONDON England (CNN) - Manchester United are applying to the British government for a licence to build a 'super casino' on land close to their Old Trafford stadium.

The Premiership giants who are under threat of takeover by American businessman Malcolm Glazer will look to expand their commercial base with complex that also includes a luxury five-star hotel.

If permission is given the United casino would be one of a small number granted after the government was forced to scale down its plans.

British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell faced significant opposition from all sides of parliament over her original proposals and was forced to further compromise in an effort to squeeze legislation through before last week's British elections.

It is widely assumed that Blackpool are favorites to secure the one licence currently on offer for the north-west region where Manchester United are situated.

Other hopefuls including arch rivals Manchester City who want to build a casino at their Eastlands ground will be left to wait and see whether Jowell attempts to revisit her original plans during the new session of parliament.

United's proposals would be part of a massive regeneration of the Salford Quays area.

Coupled with the successful Lowry Centre and Imperial War Museum North the plans will create the largest cultural village outside central London and would also include a new Metrolink station improved bus routes and additional parking spaces on the site.

"The club are delighted to be part of this exciting project working with such a leading organisation as Las Vegas Sands and with Trafford Council said United commercial director Andy Anson.

"There is a lot of work still to be done and any plans will of course consider the social issues associated with gambling and we will take expert advice on putting an agreed plan in place to deal with those matters comprehensively."

Trafford Council's executive has agreed in principle to support the joint proposal from Manchester United plc and Las Vegas Sands and has made an initial bid for a licence for a regional-scale casino in Trafford.

Glazer the owner of NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been given until May 17 to make a takeover bid for United who recognized as the richest football club in the world.

He is expected to bid around three pounds english sterling per share ($5.70) giving the club a stock value of approximately 800 million pounds ($1.58 bn).


Saturday, September 16