UK casino operators slam Government gambling plan

The UK’s casino operators are furious with the Government over plans to allow unlimited fruit machine jackpots – likely to be worth millions of pounds – because none of the UK’s existing casinos are large enough to qualify for the new high prize machines.

The latest draft of the Gambling Bill says casinos with a minimum 5,000 sq m floorspace will be able to have 2,500 no-limits “Category A” machines. But a spokesman for UK industry body the British Casino Association, which represents about 90 per cent of the country’s 126 casinos, says no existing UK casino qualifies, and the only companies which would benefit would be new entrants to the market – almost certainly the big US casino operators.

New, super-size “regional” casinos would therefore have a built-in advantage over existing UK casinos, where the maximum jackpot on a fruit machine would be capped at £500, lower than presently allowed.

The spokesman says: “It’s not a level playing field – you can’t restrict existing operators in that way while giving new entrants a free hand. UK casinos just wouldn’t be able to compete on product offering.”

Unlimited jackpot machines have enormous pulling power in the US, the world’s biggest gambling market, and also contribute significantly to casino operators’ profits. However, they also attract heavy criticism from critics of the Government’s plans to deregulate gambling in the UK, who claim they are highly addictive.

The Government argues that deregulating gambling could bring significant foreign investment to the UK, potentially creating more than 100,000 jobs.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here