Whilst gambling may not be everybody’s cup of tea, casinos generate tourism, jobs and handsome profits and competition to develop them can be intense. In one case, a tendering exercise in which no less than seven bids were received to build a large casino in a single seaside city came under the High Court microscope.
Following the exercise, the local authority accepted company A’s tender to build a casino as part of planned £450 million regeneration project that it was hoped would provide 4,400 new jobs. Amongst the rejected bids was that of company B, which had hoped to open a casino in another part of the city where construction work had already commenced on a large development.
In rejecting company B’s challenge to the result, the Court found that the council was entitled to conclude that company A’s casino was a necessary prerequisite for the project’s success. The council had appointed an independent advisory panel to ensure that the tendering process was transparent and fair and had openly stated at the outset that it favoured a casino in the area chosen by company A. Although the project did not yet have the benefit of planning permission, the council had rationally concluded that it was more than likely to be delivered in due course.