New UK casino laws face review

The British Casino Association (BCA) has announced that it has won the right to challenge the governments existing plans on the development of the 17 new casinos planned for the UK.

High Court judge Mr Justice Collins has allowed a three-day hearing that will take place before May 25 that will allow the BCA to argue that the laws for the planned new casinos, implemented through the new Gambling Act on September 1st, place existing casinos at an unfair disadvantage.

This is because the new casinos would be allowed slot machines that carry bigger jackpots and when you consider that casinos derive much of their profits from slot machines, you can understand why existing operators are annoyed.

"We have consistently argued that existing casinos would be unfairly treated under the terms of the Act through its inherent inequality and incoherence,” said Penny Cobham, BCA chairwoman.

It is a further setback for the government and Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, who suffered an embarrassing defeat in the House of Lords last week as peers voted against the plans for the UK’s first super-casino in Manchester.

The government’s plans have come under criticism from all angles, with the Liberal Democrat’s suggesting the whole process has been “ill-thought-out” and accused the government of trying to “railroad (the legislation) through Parliament”.

"The Association strongly believes that the Secretary of State has erred in considering and determining the arrangements for existing casinos in such a way that gives rise to very serious concerns about their impact and lawfulness," the BCA added in a statement.

It is yet another potential stumbling block for the government’s casino plans which have escalated into fiasco over the last few months.

Editor, - 2007-04-04 11:03:27

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