The Government-appointed panel charged with recommending the best location for Britain's first super-casino will this week draw up a shortlist from 27 applications, but there is really only one serious contender.
If the panel follows its own guidelines for a regional casino - a major development, offering clear potential for regeneration - it will choose the National Exhibition Centre bid, which brings with it a proven 30-year track record of success in the leisure industry.
If, however, as many people fear, there is a hidden agenda operating here and the panel decides that a regional casino would be the ideal vehicle to breathe new life into a seaside resort which is so run down that even political parties have given up holding their conferences there, then it will chose Blackpool.
It really is as simple as that. If there were no applications at all and Ministers were sitting down tomorrow to decide on the best site, they would be hard-pressed to find a better location than the NEC.
At the heart of the country's rail and motorway network but well away from residential areas, next to an international airport, the NEC is already a significant business tourism destination.
Precisely the sort of place, in fact, that would attract the serious gamblers, the high-rollers, from across the world lured by the prospect of limitless jackpots and, significantly, nowhere near communities likely to be affronted by having gambling on their doorstep.
The wish of the Government, presumably, is that the the first UK regional casino should be an over-whelming success and that others will follow. Again, the NEC bid offers the best chance of sustainability since its casino offer is predicated on the spending power of existing conference delegates. It will not have to waste time or money marketing itself from scratch, which brings us to the two other West Midlands casino proposals in Coventry and Dudley.
Both schemes offer something of what the panel will be looking for, but fall down on location.
It is difficult to see either Dudley or Coventry being able to appeal to casino customers in the same way as the NEC. If regeneration is the major driver shaping the final Government decision, then the NEC bid wins hands down.
Although no one can be certain of the success of super-casinos in this country, an initial estimate of #350 million profit channelled to Birmingham City Council over a ten-year period does not seem unreasonable - and with that money helping transform some of the most deprived communities in the country, the Government's social inclusion agenda will have been handsomely delivered.
Indeed, the success or otherwise of an NEC regional casino will be judged by the delivery of the promised income stream.
Public scrutiny of the way this money is used must be open for all to see.
With that caveat, none of the other 26 bids can press the criteria buttons in the way that the NEC can.
The choice for the Casino Advisory Panel is overwhelmingly clear - if a high-quality project is required, bring it to the National Exhibition Centre.