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Gambling Act

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the criteria are by which casino pilot schemes introduced under the Gambling Act 2005 will be judged; and if she will make a statement. (93913)

No earlier than three years after the award of the first premises licence we will assess whether the introduction of the one regional, eight large and eight small casinos permitted by the Gambling Act 2005 has led to an increase in problem gambling or is increasing the risk. We will also assess what the regeneration and other economic outcomes have been. It will then be for Parliament to decide whether to permit any further casinos, and we will ensure that Parliament has the full facts available to it when it debates this issue.

We will undertake a baseline study next year, once the areas where the new casinos are to be located have been approved by Parliament. Following a tendering process, the Department has recently awarded a contract to a group of academics to advise on the appropriate methodology for carrying out the necessary monitoring and evaluation. I expect them to report in early December.