Click to follow
The Independent Online
Britain's casinos are waiting with bated breath for the ministerial review expected from Michael Forsyth's office in the next few weeks.

Britain's 26-year old rules are draconian and casinos complain they prevent British businesses competing against foreign rivals. They want some of the rules lifted including those that prevent casinos advertising and scrapping the rule whereby new members cannot gamble for 48 hours. Allowing players to use credit cards and increasing the number of gaming machines are also on their list.

There is much optimism that Mr Howard will lift the ban on advertising, however, the 48-hour rule is less likely to go. Shareholders in companies such as Crockfords and Stakis are anxiously waiting for the result to see which way their shares will go.

The appointment of Howard Davies as Deputy Governor at the Bank of England will be a disappointment for Rachel Lomax, the Treasury high-flier who was widely tipped for the job. Mrs Lomax yesterday returned to Washington DC to her job at the World Bank as country department director for Europe and Central Asia .This involves over-seeing the bank's lending programmes in emerging democracies such as Bulgaria and Yugoslavian Macedonia.Compared with these tasks, Britain's problems seem to pale.

The nation's bosses will be meeting for the annual Institute of Director's convention shin-dig tomorrow under the careful eye of the Health Education Authority. The HEA have, like an officious nanny, declared that working lunches should no longer be washed down with claret and have suggested that the directors drink non-alcoholic beverages. To set an example Michael Heseltine, himself a victim of coronary disorders, will be sampling a pukka chukka made with lime juice and ginger beer. Nanny knows best!

Preparations are in place at Asprey's to celebrate the 64th birthday of Naim Attallah , the gregarious chief executive who is struggling to rejuvenate the jewellery chain after the loss of its two main customers. Stories of a boardroom row over the future leadership of the company are strenuously denied by the company. Mr Attallah, who will be 64 on May Day, can banish such worries from his mind with the thought that the company's official retirement age is only a year away.