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Gambling: Casino Licences

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 20 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

On how many occasions Ministers or officials have met each of the potential applicants for regional casino licences since 1 January 2003.[HL6757]

Under the Gambling Act 2005, local authorities acting in their capacity as licensing authorities will be responsible for issuing the one regional, eight large and eight small new casino licences permitted by the Act. Licensing authorities will be required to run the competitions for these licences in a fair and open way. These competitions are not expected to begin until mid-2007, and the identities of the bidding companies will not be known until then.

DCMS Ministers and officials have met frequently with casino and other companies that may be interested in bidding, and their representative bodies. These meetings have covered all aspects of the implementation of the Gambling Act and wider gambling policy, and are part of our regular and ongoing consultation with the gambling industry, local authorities and other stakeholders. Those meetings that have been identified to have taken place since 1 January 2006 are listed in the table, and all these meetings took place in the UK.

Date

DCMS Minister and/orofficial(s) present

Who attended the meeting

18 January 2006

Richard Caborn

Rank Group

6 February 2006

Official(s)

British Casino Association

7 February 2006

Official(s)

Representatives of the gambling industry, including British Casino Association and Casino Operators' Association

10 February 2006

Official(s)

Rank Group

21 March 2006

Official(s)

British Casino Association

11 April 2006

Official(s)

Representatives of the gambling industry, including the British Casino Association

20 April 2006

Official(s)

Overseas casino operators including Ameristar, Kerzner International, MGM Mirage

10 May 2006

Official(s)

British Casino Association

15 May 2006

Official(s)

Representatives of the gambling industry, including British Casino Association and Casino Operators' Association

18 May 2006

Official(s)

Rank Group

23 May 2006

Official(s)

London Clubs International

24 May 2006

Richard Caborn and official(s)

British Casino Association

Details of earlier meetings that may be relevant were included in a reply given by my right honourable friend the Minister for Sport (Richard Caborn) in his reply to the honourable Member for North-East Cambridgeshire on 20 December 2005 (cols. 2654 -6W). One further meeting has been identified, which was inadvertently omitted from that reply: Richard Caborn and DCMS officials met Detlef Kornett, managing director of the Anschutz Group in London, on 7 July 2003. The minute of this meeting was published on the DCMS website www.culture.gov.uk as part of a response dated 26 July 2005 to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act.

Details of further potentially relevant meetings with overseas casino operators which took place between 1 January 2004 and July 2005 have been published in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. Where available, minutes of meetings held between these dates have been published on the DCMS website, and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Since January 2003, there have been many more meetings with different companies already operating in the UK casino market and their representative bodies. Details of all these meetings could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the contribution which a regional casino licence could make to regeneration of the Millennium Dome area.[HL6758]