Casino decision delayed by High Court

It seems as though the government’s plans for a new wave of casinos across the UK are locked in a never-ending loop of delays and controversy. In the latest episode High Court judge, Mr Justice Langstaff, has delayed his judgement on a challenge brought against the government’s proposals by the industry body of the British Casino Association (BCA).

It is now expected that Mr Justice Langstaff will announce his verdict within two to four weeks. A decision was previously expected within ten days.

The BCA claim that the new proposals, which allow any future casinos to have far more slot machines with bigger jackpots, place existing casinos in a competitively weaker position. The BCA claim that as much as £120 million could be wiped off profits.

Penny Cobham, chairwoman of the BCA, said in a recent statement: “The additional entitlements given to the 17 new casinos will seriously threaten many long-established businesses and jobs.”

However, the government have made it clear they are keen to press on with their plans and believe, according to the lawyers representing the culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, that the challenge has been put forward “without merit” and should therefore be dismissed.

The challenge by the BCA is being backed by five of its member companies. Altogether, the BCA represents 116 of the UK’s 138 casinos.

Editor, - 2007-05-22 10:47:08

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