» Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Asked about the Gambling Bill which had been published today, the PMOS said that the Bill would shut down gambling machines in some six thousand premises such as taxi ranks and shops. Restrictions would also be placed on internet and other forms of gambling. The Bill would create a situation whereby local councils could decide whether to expand the number of casinos. Even then, we did not envisage a huge increase. One hundred and thirty casinos existed at the moment. We estimated that there would only be twenty to forty more once the Bill had been passed. Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about the deleterious effects that the Gambling Bill might have on people and certain areas of the country, the PMOS said the question was based on the premise that the Bill would result in a massive expansion in gambling. On the contrary. It would control gambling by making it more regulated. In our view, that was a responsible way forward. Asked if the Prime Minister was pleased with the delight with which large Las Vegas gambling organisations had greeted the proposals, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had no intention of acting as a commentator on the views of others. He believed that gambling was part of the fabric of British society which people had accepted for some time. In his view, it should continue to take place, but in a regulated and licensed way. Asked if that meant the Prime Minister was unconcerned that the Bill might bring about a net expansion in the number of problem gamblers in the UK, the PMOS pointed out that similar predictions had been made when the National Lottery was first introduced – predictions which had clearly not been borne out.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news


  1. "Restrictions would also be placed on internet and other forms of gambling."

    I expect that’ll work really well, then.

    Comment by Chris Lightfoot — 21 Oct 2004 on 12:58 pm | Link
  2. with the new restrictions and banning machines in shops etc, youd almost think that they were making people have to go to the new big casinos that are being planned……….. i wonder how many mps have gone and inversted in these companies

    Comment by tony — 21 Oct 2004 on 1:02 pm | Link

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