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|The End Of The Gaming Board?
Gambling Review Body has completed its work. Responsibility for gambling has
now passed from the Home Office to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
(DCMS). The Gambling Review Body has submitted its report to the Secretary of
State for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Will this be the end of a
quango, or will it survive? The gambling lobby in the British parliament has
serious money behind it and they have a lot to protect. So far in its history
the Gaming Board have done nothing to protect customers, infact much of it was
ensuring the risk free status of a casino.
However, the long-awaited
review of Britain's complex and often archaic gaming rules, to be published
next month, will recommend giving stronger powers to consumers. At the moment
they have no legal redress if bookmakers or casinos fail to honour their debts,
having to rely instead on a voluntary arbitration system for bookmakers and the
Gaming Board for casinos. No casino in history has ever been ordered to pay up
on a debt that was welched upon, and I have seen a few with my own eyes. The
review, chaired by Sir Alan Budd, calls for tougher scrutiny of the industry,
overseen by a powerful new gambling regulator. It would assume responsibility
for handing out licences to companies and senior staff, who would have to prove
they have no criminal record. The industry will also have to open its books
regularly to prove its finances are above-board. Don't hold your breath!
Back in the capital city, in the 12 months ending April 30, the amount
of money wagered on the Las Vegas Strip on baccarat - considered the main
barometer of high-end play totaled $2.8 billion, down 10.9 per cent from the
year- ago period, according to the Nevada Gaming Commission. Confounding
critics however, May has seen a 5.5% increase from last year and the world
seems back on track for now. The tough summer months may be the most revealing.
On home turf the bookmaker William Hill kept Mr Portillo favourite at
8-11 for the opposition leadership, while Mr Duncan Smith was installed at 7-4.
Mr Clarke was 3-1, with both Mr Ancram and Mr Davis 33-1 outsiders. After the
galant Mr. Portillo came out for changes in the laws for homosexual consent he
can only be dead in the water as the average age of the Tory party's 300,000
strong membership is 64!! Not the most liberal of demo graphs. Back against
One to back though is Stanley Leisure, previously they have been
hit by casino loses to high rollers and the foot and mouth disaster. The inside
word is that the big spenders came back and spent and with the disaster over
its full steam ahead. More than that though is the new regime of no tax which
will benefit Stanley's betting business more than any other because it is
almost entirely mainland. Good reports later this year and early next will see
the share price move up.