The Millennium Dome project could be facing a not-so-bright future following the controversy that the Deputy Prime Minister is now facing due to his meeting with Philip Anschutz, the Dome’s owner.
Blair’s second in command John Prescott has been in hot water because of the revelation of his vacation in the Colorado estate of the casino tycoon. The visit has been construed by many as a conflict of interest, and has placed Prescott in a compromising spot. Anschutz is a bidder for the license to operate Britain’s first super casino.
“John Prescott’s clumsy and ill-advised interventions have tainted Greenwich’s bid and my great fear is that they could actually damage our chances of winning. If we do win we want to win on the merits of the arguments,” Greenwich council’s opposition spokesman for culture Tory councilor Nigel Fletcher said.
The Dome is set to be transformed into the O2 and transformations are already taking place on the inside.
A spokesman from Anschutz’s company Anschutz Entertainment Group denied allegations that the company would retract the project if not picked by the Casino Advisory Panel by the year’s end.
He did confirm however, that the investment would be reduced, as phase two of the development, including a hotel and a theatre, are dependent on the casino.
However, he said: “We have bookings up to 2012, including the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships and the Olympics. We will announce soon the acts to appear from July 2007.”