» Monday, October 25, 2004


Asked if the Prime Minister was personally chairing meetings about the Gambling Bill, the PMOS said that he was not aware of any such meetings taking place. If he was being asked about reports at the weekend regarding Cabinet splits on this issue, he would simply refer journalists to individual Departments for full denials. Today the Prime Minister had been trying to convey the importance of maintaining a sense of perspective in this matter. He wanted people to understand that the Gambling Bill was predominantly about regulating the industry more tightly and closing down gaming machines located in places such as chip shops and taxi ranks. In addition, it was about recognising the reality that this was an industry which already existed in the UK and was a fact of life. In our view, rather than banning it, it was better to introduce more modern regulation. Indeed, one of the primary tasks of the Gambling Commission was to ensure the protection of the vulnerable. Questioned about the possible proliferation of casinos, the PMOS said the industry had estimated that there would only be a maximum increase of between 20-40 casinos where local authorities gave their permission. Put to him that the Gambling Bill would increase the incidence of problem gambling, the PMOS said that an assessment had been made, backed up by Gamcare, suggesting that there was no reason why there should be any significant increase in gambling-related problems as a result of a better regulated industry of the kind we were proposing.

Asked if the Government was planning to lower gaming tax in the UK, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had answered this question in his press conference this morning, as indeed had the head of the American Gaming Association in an interview on the Today Programme. Contrary to media reports, the Government had not given any such assurances. Tax was a matter for the Treasury and the Budget. End of story.

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

1 Comment »

  1. Gambling is also a major international commercial activity, with the legal gambling market totaling an estimated $335 billion in 2009.In other forms, gambling can be conducted with materials which have a value, but are not real money. For example, players of marbles games might wager marbles, and likewise games of Pogs or Magic: The Gathering can be played with the collectible game pieces (respectively, small discs and trading cards) as stakes, resulting in a meta-game regarding the value of a player’s collection of pieces.:*

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    Comment by Jaqueline Helems — 7 May 2013 on 8:08 am | Link

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