Select Committee on Regulatory Reform Thirteenth Report

Appendix C

Letter from the Clerk of the Committee to the Chief Executive, GamCare

Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Gaming Machines) Order 2003: request for further information

As you may be aware, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport laid a proposal for the above order before Parliament on 13th March, under section 6 of the Regulatory Reform Act 2001. I enclose a copy of the proposal documents, comprising a draft order and an explanatory statement prepared by the Department. The Department has also provided the Regulatory Reform Committee with copies of the responses to a consultation undertaken on the proposal by the Home Office between March and June 2001.

The Regulatory Reform Committee is charged with examining this proposal, under House of Commons Standing Order No. 141. It considered the proposal, and the consultation responses, at its meeting on 1 April.

One of the Committee's tasks, in examining the proposal, is to determine whether the proposal will continue the necessary protections in those provisions of the existing law which the proposal seeks to amend. The Department proposes to continue several safeguards for the player by means of guidelines for suppliers of gaming machines, issued by the Gaming Board and enforceable on suppliers.

The Committee was concerned to note that GamCare, at paragraph 60 of its response to the 2001 consultation, believed that the enforcement powers of the regulating authorities (which the Committee takes to mean the Gaming Board, regulating in respect of gaming machines) should be improved, "as, despite the assertion in the consultation document, it is our understanding that the regulator's powers to enforce compliance are only partially effective."

In its explanatory statement accompanying the draft order the Department has not addressed this specific point. It has, however, stated that the Gaming Board can enforce its guidelines effectively, and has set out its reasons at paragraph 59 of the explanatory statement.

The Committee would like to give GamCare the opportunity to provide evidence to substantiate its assertion, set out above, that the powers of the regulator to enforce compliance with its guidelines are only partly effective. In doing so GamCare may wish to comment on the arguments set out by the Department in the explanatory statement. The Committee has also asked the Department for its comments on the specific point raised by GamCare.

It would be very helpful to the Committee to receive GamCare's response as soon as possible, and preferably not later than Wednesday 16 April. Could you please ensure that you copy your response to Christine Salmon, Clerk of the House of Lords Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform,

3 April 2003

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