Prime minister say there may be better alternatives to Las Vegas-style casinos as he announces review

In what would be a dramatic U-turn in Labour policy, prime minister Gordon Brown has announced a review of plans to introduce a supercasino to the UK.

Gordon Brown questions plans for supercasinos across the UK
Gordon Brown questions plans for supercasinos across the UK.

During prime minister's question time yesterday, Brown said the plans would be "subject to reflection over the next few months".

"In September we will have a report that will look at gambling in our country - the incidence and prevalence of it and the social effects of it," Brown said.

"I hope that during these summer months we can look at whether regeneration in the areas for the supercasinos may be a better way of meeting their economic and social needs than the creation of supercasinos."

His speech has thrown plans for the UK's first supercasino in Manchester into doubt.

Manchester's selection in January was a surprise decision because Blackpool, which had argued that a supercasino was pivotal to the city's regeneration, had been favourite.

If the supercasinos do not go ahead, it will be a big departure from Tony Blair's policy.

It is thought plans for 16 smaller casinos, also announced in January, will go ahead.