Chairman with egg on his face

More news to fan the flames of controversy surrounding the UK Gambling Bill was published this week by The Times newspaper. The Times reported that Peter Dean, the chairman of the Gambling Commission found himself in hot water. The Government were reportedly humiliated in a published article this week. In the article, Mr Dean defied government advice and stated his view that the Gambling Commission should not regulate onerously.

Government ministers were said to be fuming over remarks made by Mr Dean that Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell had ‘exaggerated the case for the planned so called ‘super casinos’ to facilitate the speedy acceptance of the Bill through Parliament. He then went on to claim that the Gambling Commission, which was formed last October, would be a laissez faire regulator. That the members hold the view that ‘super casinos’ with million pound slot machines are ‘not such a big deal’.

A government source said, “Ministers were frustrated by this article. For the last three or four years Tessa Jowell could not have been clearer. The Gambling Industry is not an industry like any other. It must be subject to strict controls enforced by a tough proactive regulator.”

The Times went on to quote the following interesting gambling statistics:

-Approximately 76 per cent of men and 68 per cent of women gamble each year.
The highest gambling activity is on horseracing

-£5 billion a year is wagered online, with 93 per cent of people with internet access gambling on the web

-The average gambler spends between £10 and £20 a week on gaming sites

Editor, - 2006-01-06 10:45:15

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