HC Deb 15 October 1996 vol 282 cc876-7W
Mr. Galbraith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to change the law in relation to betting on the national lottery; and if he will make a statement. [40771]

Mr. Kirkhope

There are no plans at present to change the law in relation to betting on the national lottery.

Mr. Congdon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the outcome of the consultation on the deregulation of casinos, bingo clubs and advertising of commercial gambling. [41077]

Mr. Kirkhope

On 27 February, we went out lo consultation on a package of measures to relax certain controls on casinos, bingo clubs and advertising of commercial gambling. This is a general report on the outcome of that consultation and our plans for taking the changes forward.


The deregulation proposals received general support. I have laid a draft deregulation order today for Parliamentary scrutiny;

  • allowing casinos in England and Wales to sell alcohol up to 2 am (3 am in London);
  • reducing the waiting period for casino membership from 48 to 24 hours.

I also plan to lay a draft order later this year allowing payment by debit cards in casinos and bingo clubs.

I hope in the next few weeks to publish a consultation document about the precise form of the deregulation orders allowing:

  • postal applications for membership;
  • group membership;
  • limited advertising;
  • casino slot machines.

Permitted areas for casinos

In February we proposed to allow casinos in 13 new locations. The new areas attracted support from their local councils, with the exception of Croydon and Peterborough. I intend to finalise that list in the light of the comments received.

We have also received representations from other areas. I do not think it appropriate to add an unmanageable number or to depart radically from the original proposals, but I am considering the case for some additions. New permitted areas can be implemented by secondary legislation, but I will need to address the resource, timing and other practical implications before any are introduced. I will make my intentions clear in the next few weeks.


There has been a mixed response from inside and outside the industry to the proposals to abolish the demand criterion for bingo licence applications, the requirement to operate as clubs and the 24 hour waiting period for membership. In the light of the representations received I do not propose to proceed with those measures.

I am still assessing the detailed responses to the other proposals affecting bingo clubs. I will give priority to a measure abolishing advertising restrictions and will then examine further the move to three yearly licences. I would also like to allow simplified charging in bingo clubs, subject to advice from the Gaming Board following discussions with the industry.

Advertising betting shops

I also plan later in the year to bring forward a measure allowing non-broadcast advertising of betting shops.

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