Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's Time to Place Your Bet

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's Time to Place Your Bet

Article excerpt

Byline: By Tim Evans

Knight Frank's Tim Evans looks at how new legislation on gambling will affect the leisure industry in the North-East.

The Gambling Bill establishes a new regime for the regulation of commercial gambling in Great Britain.

The bill affects betting, bingo, casinos, gaming machines and charity lotteries. It also deals with gambling offered through remote technologies like the internet.

The essence of the bill establishes a new regulator ( the Gambling Commission ( which will be independent of government. It will license gambling operators and key personnel. Local authorities will license gambling premises.

This is a crucial point for the North-East region.

Leisure developers could be the major beneficiaries of the new Gambling Bill, whether or not they get permission to build super casinos. For there is a growing feeling that regeneration will be a deciding factor in deciding which areas are licensed for major regional casinos.

Regional development agency One NorthEast has commissioned research into the possible effects of the new legislation.

It is worth bearing this in mind, as the furore which surrounds the new Gambling Bill continues.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the UK enjoys a worldwide reputation for a fair and uncorrupted gambling industry.

During the 1960s and before the Gaming Act of 1968, UK casinos were heavily infiltrated by criminals and organised crime.

It is generally accepted that casinos remain the most vulnerable sector within the gambling industry. In almost no other environment are such high sums of money in circulation, where fraud and money laundering can potentially occur.

As of 1968, individuals wishing to operate a casino in the UK have been required to apply to the Gaming Board. The aims of the new legislation revolve around three core objectives, all of which have been central since the Budd report of 2001, and the subsequent government response, A Safe Bet For Success, published in 2002. This determined that gambling must remaincrime-free, be conducted in a fair and open way and children and the vulnerable must be protected. …

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