The battle between Birmingham City FC and the NEC to be nominated as a site for Britain's first super-casino will be resolved by the end of next month - with Blues almost certain to win the race.
The city council cabinet will decide which of the schemes to propose to a Governmentappointed panel investigating the best location for an American- style gaming centre.
Speculation is growing that the council will back the Birmingham City FC option, based on a casino run by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, a new multi-purpose sports stadium and home for the Blues.
The £300 million project would trigger a massive economic boost at the inner city Wheels site in Saltley - delivering a prime Government objective that a super casino must deliver jobs and regeneration.
It would also secure a longheld council aim to secure a first-class stadium capable of staging the Commonwealth Games and a wide range of international sporting events.
A suggestion that the capital receipt and revenue from a casino at the NEC could be used to build the Birmingham City stadium has been rejected by the football club as unworkable.
The decision is a blow for the NEC, in which Birmingham City Council has a controlling interest.
Development of a supercasino was seen as a sure-fire way of bringing more visitors to the NEC and of safeguarding the organisation's future.
Ken Hardeman, city council cabinet member for regeneration, is waiting for the results of an independent investigation by consultants before recommending which of the two casino options to adopt.
Coun Hardeman ( Con Brandwood) said: "We need to get a clear idea about how the economics would stack up in each case. The consultants have been asked to look at both applications and give an expert opinion.
"My personal view is that the Birmingham City option probably has the best chance of becoming the nation's first choice for a super-casino.
"It has all the components that make it exactly what a super-casino should be about.
"There is huge potential for jobs and regeneration on and around the Wheels site, and it is certainly the case that the area needs to be regenerated."
Labour is pressing the council's Conservative-Liberal Democrat leadership to make a decision.
Ian Ward, deputy leader of the Labour group, said other cities had already "stolen a march" on Birmingham by selecting casino options and lobbying hard at Government level.