The slogan reads,’ And on the sixth day, God created MANchester’. But did He remember to make any decent casinos?
There are 11 casinos in Manchester. If this sounds like a lot, it’s worth pointing out that, until quite recently, there were 14. And had things worked out a little differently, the home of Factory Records might have produced the largest casino ever seen in the UK.
Yes, it was in 2007 that the independent Casino Advisory Board awarded Manchester a license to open the country’s first ‘super casino’. Alas, plans for such a facility were ditched just 12 months later.
If Britain is ever to play host to a mega-gambling house, Manchester’s a fitting home for it. As the city that gave the world the industrial revolution, Manchester was the first place to benefit from the financial rewards that industrialisation brought with it. This meant that workers had – for perhaps the first time ever – disposable income, and one of the ways in which they wanted to dispose of it was via gambling.
From illegal games of two-up (the heads-and-tails coin toss game beloved by Australians) to legally betting on horses, greyhounds and boxing, the planet’s first betting boom took place in the city that would later produce the bouncing bomb. And the ripples from that boom can still be felt today. For away from its plethora of casinos, Manchester’s sporting heritage offers opportunities galore to fans of football, cricket and dog racing.
The modern Manchester is a very different animal to the soot-coated beast of yesteryear, however. And, likewise, the latest incarnation of its gambling culture is not only completely above-board but beautifully presented. Indeed, should you walk across the gambling floors at any of its most prestigious venues, you really could be forgiven for thinking this gambling experience was heaven sent.