A report due to be published by the Institute of Economic Affairs will call on the British government to relax outdated laws regarding new casinos, it has been revealed.
The current legislation allows best UK casino to operate only in certain clearly defined areas of the country, while other towns and cities that have shown interest are rebuffed.
The report will urge Chancellor George Osborne to relax these restrictions, allowing Britain to take advantage of the 56 as yet unclaimed casino licenses. Cities such as Bognor Regis, Peterborough and Swindon have all demonstrated an interest in being allowed to open new casinos, yet the law at present will not allow it.
The author of the report Chris Snowdon emphasises the amount of revenue the relaxation of these laws could bring into the country as a whole, and especially into seaside towns that are struggling due to the poor summer and the recession.
He is quoted as saying: “More than a quarter of the 200 bcasino licences lie dormant and only one of 16 new casinos licensed in the 2005 Gaming Act has been built.
“Most will never be built because of bizarre planning restrictions which allow small towns like Stranraer to have a casino while places such as Croydon, Swindon and Bognor Regis cannot. With many seaside towns struggling and casinos a potential economic lifeline this is lunacy.”
Betting revenue in taxes alone is estimated to bring in £30 million for the country, not to mention the amount of potential new jobs created should the legislation be relaxed.
UK Gambling Act
Under the Gambling Act new laws were brought in to Britain. They allowed casinos and bookmakers the power to advertise nationally for the first time, but in tandem with strict new legislation that required all operatives to obey certain rules.
These rules are designed to protect vulnerable members of society, such as children and gambling addicts.
The Act also covers all British-based online gambling sites. Although the Act did pave the way for gambling operatives to make their presence more widely known, it also instigated the removal of over 6,000 fruit machines from areas where children could potentially play on them unsupervised, such as in takeaway food outlets.
All gambling operatives are required to prominently display and promote guidelines for responsible gambling, and no advertising is allowed on television before the 9pm watershed.