Losing Newham casino bidder mulls court challenge

A company that lost out on the right to build a Las Vegas-style casino in Newham could go to court to challenge the decision to reject its bid.

Newham Council’s licensing committee last week chose Aspers proposals for a so-called “large casino” at Westfield’s Stratford City development over two rival bids.

But bosses at City and Eastern, who put forward plans for a casino as part of a new entertainment complex at Gallions Reach, say the people of Newham have been “short-changed” by the decision.

They are currently consulting their lawyers with a view to launching a judicial review action in the High Court.

The third bidder, Apollo Genting London, which proposed a site at Silvertown Quays, is also considering its options.

Council chiefs said they had followed a rigorous selection process in accordance with government guidelines.

City and Eastern spokesman Spokesman Fergus Kinloch said: “We are very disappointed at the decision.

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“This is a wasted opportunity for the people of Newham.

“Our scheme devised an exciting and innovative leisure destination and residential community, which would have regenerated this part of the borough to the tune of �100 million.

“We are baffled as to why Newham would decide to put the casino in the part of the borough that least needs further regeneration.”

He said the company’s plan would have created more than 1,200 jobs - compared to the 440 offered by the Aspers proposals.

The Gallions Reach proposals would also have included a 220-room hotel, a theatre, museum, boxing gym, market, TV studio and street market, as well as 720 new homes and a 2,200-seat arena.

Apollo Genting said the Silvertown Quays scheme could have delivered up to 2,500 new jobs.

Their spokesman said: “We are surprised and bemused by Newham’s decision.

“We focused 100 per cent on matching our proposals to Newham’s own vision for the borough and for the Royal Docks - long term, transformational regeneration, job creation and creating a major new leisure and entertainment destination.”

Newham Council licensing committee chairman Ian Corbett said: “The committee considered the merits of each application and followed a rigorous selection process, which was carried out in strict adherence to the guidelines.”