Casinos offer economic gamble


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Representatives of the big casino owners will appear in Parliament tomorrow to argue that they should be allowed to open a business anywhere where they think they can make a profit.

Under present law, there are 53 designated areas in the UK where it is permitted to run a casino. But the operators will claim that they could create 11,000 jobs and generating £70-£80m in tax revenues if the fetters were taken off.

Malcolm Moss, a Tory MP for many years until he retired at the last election, will be back in the Commons in his new role as chairman of the National Casino Industry Forum, giving evidence to the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport.

He will claim population shifts make nonsense of some of the permitted areas set out under an Act of Parliament passed in 1968. He will argue that an operator with a licence to run a casino should be allowed to transfer to any area where the local council will grant permission for a casino.

Mr Moss said: "If the Chancellor wants to boost growth, we are ready to invest in sensible modest reforms of casinos. These businesses can be part of the growth agenda, domestically and through the tourist market."