Thursday 19 November 1998
The essence of the change can be summed up in the word entrepreneurial. Peter Dean, aged 59, who took over as chairman in July, comes from a business background. He knows what business and investment is all about - in this context, the leisure industry. Besides his business acumen, Mr Dean also has experience as investment ombudsman, and service on the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
This does not mean that British casinos are suddenly going to hit the jackpot. It does mean that on certain key issues they can count of the active support of the Gaming Board. First, and most importantly , a new principle in licensing casinos has been approved. As was seen with the recent takeover of the Ritz Club, the old concept of "unstimulated demand" as the sole criterion for casino licensing - a criterion very difficult to establish - has been overtaken, or rather, supplemented.
In future, anyone wanting to open a casino can argue, if demand is not shown, that the Magistrates or the Courts can use what is known as their "residual discretion" in granting a licence. In such cases, the Board will give its opinion on the merits of the case. The thinking behind this change is that competition is a good thing and that the 1968 Gaming Act is out of date.
We have all known that for along time but British casinos can hardly expect immediate approval of all the things they want. But where the Gaming Board can promote common-sense reform, it will do so.
For example, one of the silliest obstacles to development concerns the cost of regulation. The Board's expenses are more than covered by the fees paid by the gaming industry. But this money goes to the Treasury, whereas The Board's funding comes from the Home Office, which is constrained, for all the usual reasons, to hold expenditure down. This applies even when the industry is prepared to help foot the bill for increased costs of regulation, as in a new regime for slot machines. The new Gaming Board will have another go at cracking this shibboleth - with what success remains to be seen.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
Game of Thrones really doesn't want Danny Dyer - EastEnders star rejected three times
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
25 years of Disney: How Darth Vader, Iron Man, Elsa and Pixar's geniuses helped the company conquer the world (again)
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account