Memorandum submitted by the British Casino
The BCA represents the interests of 115 of the
122 registered casinos in Great Britain.
Casinos generate employment for about 19,000
people and receive over 11 million visits per annum. They are
a major part of the leisure industry.
Casinos had a gross income in 1999-2000 of £546
million. That is about the same as the whole of the cinema industry.
2. IMPACT OF
The National Lottery is given a clear competitive
advantage over all other types of gambling. Particular examples
concerning casinos include:
Advertisingthe Lottery has very few limits.
Casinos are almost completely prohibited from advertising.
Outletsthe Lottery has 33,000 retail outlets.
Casinos are restricted to 53 "permitted areas".
AvailabilityLottery and scratchcards can
be purchased almost anywhere immediately. Casinos are required
to make new members wait 24 hours before entry.
Jackpotthe Lottery has no limits on jackpots.
Casinos are restricted to £1,000 prizes on machines.
Opening HoursLottery retailers can sell
tickets at all hours. Casinos have restricted opening hours.
New Gamesthe Lottery is free to introduce
new games. Casinos face major bureaucratic hurdles to their introduction
of new games.
The BCA believes that no Government should have
the right to damage an industry by promoting one part whilst restricting
other parts of that industry.
3. THE REVIEW
In December 1999 the Government announced a
wide-ranging review of gambling legislation. To the dismay of
the Casino industry, the National Lottery has been excluded from
The National Lottery has caused a profound change
in public attitudes to gambling. Any effective future framework
for gambling must take account of this impact particularly since
the National Lottery and scratchcards together are three times
more popular than any other gambling activity.
4. KPMG REPORT
A KPMG report on the Economic Value and Public
Perceptions of Gambling in the UK dated May 2000 included a Mori
poll which showed that:
(i) Casinos are more socially acceptable
than scratchcards, and yet casinos are still subject to substantial
(ii) 90 per cent of the population now gamble
and gambling is now perceived to be one of a range of leisure
5. A SINGLE REGULATORY
The arguments listed above have led the BCA
to conclude that the entire gambling sector, including the National
Lottery, should be supervised by one regulatory authority with
terms of reference that cover:
Keeping gambling crime free and honest.
Ensuring that customers are treated
fairly and can make an informed judgement about how they wish
to spend their leisure time.
Ensuring a level playing field between
various gambling activities.
A single regulatory authority would bring with
it benefits of scale. It would enable a risk assessment to be
looked at across the whole industry, it would encourage industry
wide standards and finally it would recognise that gambling is
now an important part of the leisure industry.
Whilst the casino industry has greatly valued
the long and effective working relationship that it has had with
the Home Office, it now considers it common sense to place all
Government supervision of the gambling industry with the DCMS.
It is the DCMS that sponsors the leisure industry and manages
a more up-to-date regulatory framework covering the National Lottery.
The BCA feel that the competitive advantage
given to the National Lottery over other regulated gambling activities
is no longer fair or necessary.