The Culture, Media and Sport Committee, under the chairmanship of Mr John Whittingdale MP, has published its report into the UK gambling industry and the 2005 Gambling Act (The Gambling Act 2005: A bet worth taking?).
Comments from Warwick Bartlett – Chief Executive Global Betting & Gaming Consultants:
“I believe the UK gambling industry will welcome the report from the DCMS Select Committee. The gambling industry will continue on with the good work already in hand to deal with problem and underage gambling and will welcome the recommendation on the Gambling Commission’s fees structure which is skewed against the small operators.
I believe that given the state of government finances the Committee should not have given up on Regional (‘Super’) Casinos something that the cities of Madrid and Barcelona are readily taking on board by trying to attract Las Vegas Sands (LVS) to build “Euro Vegas”. There comes a time when economic common sense should prevail over politics. You have to ask “if not now, when?” but the Committee decided that the moment for regional casinos has now passed. If LVS goes ahead in Spain then the UK will have missed the tourist opportunity.
Internet gambling operators will welcome the opportunity to sit down with Treasury and work on rates that will encourage growth without causing seepage to the ‘grey’ market.
Taking it all into account, this is a sensible report. But the same could be said of the previous Budd Report. The previous Labour Government, however, simply cherry-picked from the Budd Report giving the industry all the negatives, leaving the positives to gather dust. The question now is whether the Government is prepared to take on board the majority of the recommendations. There has never been a better time for the UK Government to get behind an industry which is best of class in every respect.”