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More poker rooms for the UK as casinos move in

More poker rooms for the UK as casinos move in 0001

Britain will become the poker capital of Europe if American casino operators who are planning to move into the country have their way.

A dozen huge casinos are planned for the near future when the present law against the spread of gambling palaces is changed.

And they are all likely to have poker rooms.

The northern seaside toiwn of Blackpool will have at least four new super-casinos, and the latest plans to be revealed concern Wembley Stadium, where the famous sports ground is located.

The glitz and glamour of Las Vegas is being brought to London with plans for a £335m hotel, gambling and leisure complex to be built next to the new stadium.

Caesars Entertainment, the owner of the world-famous Caesars Palace, has linked up with the property company that is rejuvenating Wembley Arena and the surrounding area, in a joint venture to develop the site.

Alongside a 400-room nine-storey hotel, Caesars Wembley will include restaurants, shops, a spa and swimming pool, a ballroom and a casino offering everything from slot machines to roulette and blackjack tables. There will also be a card-room for poker.

The plan, which depends on proposed changes to British gambling law as well as local planning permission, will create 1,750 jobs.

The venture is aiming to have the complex open in 2008, two years after the stadium has played host to its first FA Cup final.

"People in the past came to Wembley an hour before kick-off and left as soon as they could get out of the car park," said property director Nick Shattock. "We want to create a day out for them." The planned casino and hotel stretches over 13 acres and will be 200 yards from Wembley stadium, on one side of a public space about the size of Leicester Square in central London.

Caesars Entertainment has 28 casinos around the world but the American giant's Wembley venture will be its first foray into Europe.

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