The British Casino Association has called on Gordon Brown to “look again” at his policies after the Prime Minister told MPs that regeneration might be „a better way of meeting the economic and social needs“ of deprived areas than a super-casino.
The trade association also urged the government to resolve the uncertainty “quickly and decisively” without penalising existing businesses.
A statement from the organisation said: „British casinos have been making an important contribution to the UK’s leisure mix for over 40 years and look forward to continue providing our many millions of customers with first rate facilities when the Gambling Act comes full into force later in the year.
„But, like all businesses, we need certainty – an ingredient conspicuously absent from much of the passage of the Gambling Act – and we will wish to work closely with Government, and Parliament, to ensure the outcome of what is effectively a review of Gambling Policy, delivers what is in the best interests of the country and the industry.
Casino Review’s editor, Phil Martin, added that, as a result of Brown’s apparent u-turn, many foreign operators and manufacturers would see the whole legislative process in the UK as a “shambles”.
„It’s astounding that it has taken the government so long to get even close to regulating a so called super casino only for Gordon Brown to unceremoniously swat it to one side in Prime Ministers question time, with no regard for the city which had been told it would be getting up to us$ 4 million of inward investment,“ Martin continued.
Discussing the upcoming prevalence study that Brown pertained to in his answers, Martin continued: „Surely all the necessary studies have already been carried out. It makes you wonder what the last seven years of ‘review’ have actually been about. I think whilst some existing operators will breathe a sigh of relief, remember that the BCA was fighting for its members on the grounds of inequality in the new provisions, many foreign operators and manufacturers will see the whole legislative process in the UK as a shambles.“