Approval for 90 new casinos, with more in the pipeline

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Indy Politics

A vast casino building plan, which could lead to 90 new casinos being built within years, has already been approved, despite assurances from ministers that expansion would be limited.

The plans, which could result in the equivalent of 10 Las Vegas-style super-casinos, have provoked an angry reaction from opposition politicians.

A document from the Gambling Commission, the casino regulator, obtained by Channel 4's Dispatches programme, shows that, in the past two years, 90 new casinos have been approved and a further 57 applications are being considered.

The revelation comes a week before the announcement of the location of Britain's first super-casino.

Casino industry insiders believe there will soon be more than 200 casinos in Britain, double the number when Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997.

Richard Caborn, the minister responsible for gambling, has echoed doctors' concerns that new gaming laws liberalising access to casinos could lead to a rise in addiction. His view contrasts with the official position of his department. Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, has said in the Commons that the new Act would not cause an increase in problem gambling.

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