Leisure: Casinos hit run of bad luck

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The Independent Online
Casino attendance throughout Britain has dropped in nearly all areas over the past three years with the exception of London, the Midlands and Wales, according to figures from the Gaming Board.

The figures show that while casino attendance has dropped in Scotland, the North, and the South, albeit by very small amounts, it has increased in the Midlands and Wales and has remained constant in London.

Casinos in Britain attract an average of around 2 million visits per year and will be hoping to cash in on changes to the laws governing them by attracting more customers.

The changes include increasing the hours during which they can sell alcohol and the methods of payment that they are allowed to accept.

Until last week, casinos outside Scotland could only sell alcohol until midnight, but new legislation has relaxed the drinking hours to 3am in London and 2am elsewhere, in line with Scottish gaming clubs. From next week they will also be allowed to accept debit cards as a form of payment as well as cash and cheques.

Both the Conservative and Labour parties support deregulation for the industry, although it is unclear how long further changes will take with the upcoming election.