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Casino Advisory Panel

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what research the Casino Advisory Panel (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated to estimate the likely earnings for regional casinos. (127653)

[holding answer 15 March 2007]: None. However, the panel asked shortlisted local authorities what estimates they had made as to the likely profits of a casino in their area, insofar as it was relevant to the viability, likelihood of implementation and the likely regeneration benefits.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she made of the experience at a strategic and senior level in the regeneration of disadvantaged areas of the members of the Casino Advisory Panel before recommending their appointment. (128463)

The Casino Advisory Panel was appointed in accordance with Nolan principles following an open competition. The independent interview panel which was responsible for the appointments process was satisfied that five individuals they recommended for appointment would mean that the panel would have available to it the required senior, strategic level experience in the areas specified in the person specification, including in the regeneration of disadvantaged areas.

Biographical details of the five individuals selected to become the chair and members of the panel were included in the press release, issued on 30 September 2005, which announced the establishment of the Panel.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the contribution of the Casino Advisory Panel's interpretation of social impact to the overall object of the Gambling Act 2005 on reducing problem gambling. (128465)

None. The Casino Advisory Panel was asked to identify a range of areas for the one regional, eight large and eight small casinos permitted by the Gambling Act 2005 which would provide the best possible test of social impact. The panel's interpretation of this criterion, and its assessment of how each of the proposals before it rated against this criterion, is set out in the panel's report. The Government are satisfied that the panel has taken its terms of reference seriously and applied them in a balanced and consistent way.

All existing casinos, and any new casino that opens, will be subject to the stringent new safeguards we are introducing to ensure that the risk of problem gambling is minimised, in line with the overall objectives of the Gambling Act 2005.