The Sunday Times reports that 47 local authorities are lining up to build Las Vegas-style venues. Plus the rest of the weekend's news.
Councils across Britain are lining up to build Britain's new Las Vegas-style "super casinos", according to The Sunday Times. Forty-seven out of the 131 local authorities approached are interested in building the biggest type of casino, the paper reports, which will all be accompanied by huge regeneration projects. If ministers opt to permit just one super-casino, down from eight since the election last year, it is expected to turn into a contest between Blackpool and London - with Wembley and the Millennium Dome possible sites.
Meanwhile, the top man at supermarket Asda has called for the Office of Fair Trading to tighten planning regulations to curb Tesco's growth, reports Saturday's Guardian. Asda chief executive Andy Bond has urged the OFT to wrap up its inquiries into supermarket activity in the convenience store sector, and instead focus instead on tightening planning laws, the paper said. Bond said: "They are shooting at the wrong target. We want a tightening of planning regulations….We want choice and competition to be an element of the planning regime."
- Consultant Scott Wilson, which worked on the Eden Project, plans a £110 flotation on the London Stock Exchange. The company seeks to raise about £70m of new money from a float.
- Accountants Earnest and Young have been signed up by Network Rail to run the multi-billion pound redevelopment of its largest stations. E&Y have the job of encouraging private investment in stations in the next decade.
- The Financial Times on Saturday said that Arcelor, the Luxembourg-based steel company, was prepared to receive a written proposal from Mittal steel about a potential and unspecified joint "industrial project." The FT said that the statement by Arcelor suggested that its stance to Mittall's potential hostile €18.6bn (£12.6bn) takeover was softening.
- Still on the subject of steel, The Sunday Times reports that four European financial regulators have held talks on how to handle the hostile bid. Arcelor's primary listing is in Luxembourg, but its shares trade in France, Belgium and Spain. Regulators from each of the countries held talks at the end of last week.
The FT on Saturday reports that a travel agent has attempted to book accommodation in Cardiff for Football Association staff during the week of the FA Cup final, fuelling further doubts that contractor Multiplex will hand over the £757m stadium in time for the final on 13 May.