CASINO giant Aspers has been given the first green light in its bid to open a large gaming centre in Xscape car park.
After adjourning on Tuesday, July 5 following a lengthy meeting with Aspers and objectors, the panel – made up of four councillors from Milton Keynes Council – announced its verdict on Thursday to give initial permission for the bids to be formally lodged.
The panel also agreed to remove a 24-hour operating condition initially included on their list of checkpoints.
The decision read: “The panel has made a provisional decision to grant the applications for provisional statements... and to remove the default conditions as to hours.”
Linda Inoki, leader of citizen’s alliance group Xplain, said it would continue to fight to get a casino built in the right place.
She said: “I wonder how many people realise that this is a huge social experiment and the council has signed us up as guinea pigs?
“As yet, none of these large, open-door casinos has opened in Britain so nobody knows if the experiment to help raise funds for local councils will work.
“There’s a risk that stimulating gambling will mean more debt and despair in local communities.
“This is the riskiest place to open a casino in Milton Keynes – that’s why we wanted the council to act now and reject the application.
“Unfortunately, they were not convinced, and Xscape is back in the running.”
Central Milton Keynes Town Council, which also lodged formal complaints at the meeting, is now considering appealing the first green light.