LAS VEGAS (AP) _ MGM Mirage will build a hotel-casino next to one of the largest retail centers in the United Kingdom, company officials announced Tuesday.

It was the second major deal in the past two weeks that the gambling giant has signed in anticipation of gambling expansion in Great Britain.

MGM Mirage officials said they had reached an agreement with The British Land Company PLC to construct a $364 million to $455 million leisure and entertainment complex next to the Meadowhall Shopping Center in Sheffield, England. The shopping center is owned by The British Land Company, one of the United Kingdom's biggest property companies.

The agreement includes building a casino and related facilities such as restaurants, entertainment venues and a hotel and conference center. The casino would be operated by MGM Mirage.

The development could create as many as 4,500 construction jobs and 2,000 leisure-related jobs, officials said.

Completion of the complex is contingent upon gambling laws being changed and building permits being issued. Industry observers say the United Kingdom could pass new gambling legislation by late 2004 or early 2005. Revised gambling laws also would bring new taxes.

MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said the Las Vegas-based company is involved in five projects in the United Kingdom, including Sheffield.

MGM Mirage said last week that it has agreed to pay about $490 million for London-based Wembley PLC, owner of a Rhode Island dog racing track and video slot center and race tracks in Colorado and England.

MGM Mirage owns and operates 12 casino resorts in Nevada, Mississippi, Michigan and Australia, and has investments in two other casino resorts in Nevada and New Jersey. The company has about 40,000 employees.

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On the Net:

http://www.britishland.com/

http://www.meadowhall.co.uk/

http://www.mgmmirage.com/