Major proposals were announced in 2006 to attract the first Las Vegas style “supercasino” the proposals were backed by the giant US operator MGM Mirage and the Westcliff Casino owners RJ Browne included three residential blocks containing 171 one, two and three bedroom flats, marina, hotel, conference centre, car parking, hotel and a 328ft (100meter) tall Gyro Tower. The project was predicted to cost some £150million, The Hotel and casino would have covered 226,044 sq ft (21,000sq m) the conference centre 38,750 sq ft (3600sq m), the current Westcliff Casino was to be converted into a confrence centre.
The proposed super-casino was part of the Labour Governments proposed UK gambling deregulation The Budd Committee had set out the White Paper 'A Safe Bet for Success Legislative. The reform proposed changes that could have included permitting casinos to advertise, ending the '24-hour rule' (whereby new players must join the casino 24 hours before playing) and allowing casinos to offer other products such as sports betting, keno/bingo and a much improved quantity and quality of high- prize slot machines, the change in gambling laws would have permitted submissions for two new types of casino the Super casino or a smaller Regional casino. The proposals would have provided further changes to the reforms of the Gambling Act 2002 which permitted gamblers to drink alcohol on gaming floors, live entertainment and selected new games.
However a protest group calling itself Save Our Seafront "SOS" under took ferocious protest to oppose the proposed supercasino and also to forbid any further development on the foreshore of the seafront was launched.
Despite the protests Southend Council pressed ahead with backing the plans in partnership with MGM Mirage and casino owners RJ Browne.
However during the Governmental review of all the proposed new Super & Regional casinos Southend failed to be put forward onto the short list of favoured sites, the eventual winner of the super casino was Manchester.