Casino association warns against more closures

The British Casino Association (BCA) has warned that unless concessions are given to the UK casino industry, venues will continue to struggle and more closures will be imminent.

Seven venues have closed in recent months and an eighth is thought to be perilously close to shutting its doors.

The smoking ban, the implementation of the Gambling Act 2005 which restricted the number of gaming machines, a tougher tax regime and flat admission numbers have all had their toll.

“Unless we work with the government to ameliorate these effects, the closures are going to continue,” warned Lady Cobham, chairman of the BCA.

The current situation is a far cry from the optimism in the industry that was generated by the government’s seemingly hospitable stance towards the industry last year.

Gordon Brown stepping into Tony Blair’s shoes didn’t help matters, as the Scot immediately tore up legislation for Manchester’s cherished super-casino. Despite the go-ahead for 16 new casino licenses across the country expected to be given next week, tough regulations and restrictions are not likely to help matters much.

What’s more, those potential new 16 casinos are a massive threat to current casinos if located nearby to them as they will be able to operate on a larger scale and provide more and bigger jackpot machines.

The BCA is therefore lobbying for the government to allow any existing casinos that affected by those 16 new casinos to be able to relocate to another area where competition is less.

Editor, - 2008-05-06 11:46:43

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