» Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Gambling Commission Report

Asked for a reaction to the Gambling Commission’s findings that seemed to show an increase in the number of problem addictions and an increase in new forms of gambling, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) replied that DCMS had given the Government’s reaction to this early today. Whilst the report showed that problem gambling only affected a small minority of people, it did remain a serious issue, and it was something that had to be addressed. DCMS were announcing today that they have asked the Gambling Commission to review the current voluntary arrangements for industry funding of gambling research, treatment, and public education.

Asked for the Prime Minister’s attitude towards super casinos, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister’s attitude towards super casinos was well known, and had not changed.

Asked for the Prime Minister’s attitude towards smaller casinos, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister’s view on smaller casinos had not changed either. Asked if the Prime Minister was still in favour of them, the PMS replied that there were no proposals to make any changes in relation to the other casinos.

Asked if we were not awaiting the outcome of a review on this, and when would this be due, the PMS replied that as the Prime Minister said in July, the issue in relation to super casinos is whether or not this is the most effective way of meeting our regeneration objectives, one of the original purposes. The Prime Minister was obviously sceptical about that. There was ongoing work in DCLG and DCMS to look at alternative regeneration packages, and that was due to report later in the autumn.

Asked if this was purely a question of regeneration or did the Prime Minister think that gambling was somehow morally undesirable, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister thought that problem gambling was a serious issue and was something that had to be addressed, and that was also part of the consideration in relation to what he said on super casinos in July.

Asked if the Prime Minister told the Archbishop of Canterbury that he had a moral issue with this at their recent meeting, the PMS replied that he would not be commenting on private meetings between the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Asked if the work DCMS was doing was completely separate to today’s report, or would today’s report feed into it, and would it eventually effect the Prime Minister’s decision, the PMS replied that there was a process ongoing in relation to the decision surrounding the super casino. Clearly today’s report from the Gambling Commission was an important consideration in relation to the work that was ongoing. But nobody should be left in any doubt of what the Prime Minister’s views were, as he expressed them fairly clearly in July.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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