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Mr. Gibb : What the hon. Gentleman says is absolutely right, and rings true with the experiences conveyed to me by my constituents who run Harbour Park in Littlehampton. It also rings true with the British Amusement Catering Trades Association survey, which showed that 88 per cent. of such businesses believe that if stakes and prizes are reduced, the impact on them will be hugely negative.

Mr. Doran: Obviously, I agree, at least on this one occasion, with the hon. Gentleman.

The Minister has been conciliatory tonight, and all that I can ask is that he take away this issue and consider it. If there is evidence that the proposal is necessary in the interests of protection of children, let us see it, because I am not aware that we have been shown any.

Alan Simpson (Nottingham, South) (Lab): I wish to speak in support of my amendment No. 1, and with your permission, Madam Deputy Speaker, I hope to put it to a vote. It gives the House an opportunity to place an upper limit on the level of prizes that can be awarded under the Bill as part of the gaming machine process. It seeks to challenge the presumption, which the House is being asked to contemplate, that there is pressure from the public for unrestricted prizes in the gaming industry. Ninety per cent. of the public believe that there are perfectly adequate gambling choices at present. There is no demand outside the House for the introduction of super-casinos. Under my amendment, category A gaming machines would be allowed, but the upper prize limit would be the same as for category B—£2,000.

We are set to face a dramatic increase in gaming machines. At the moment, we have about 800 category B machines in the country, but a single super-casino could have more than that on its premises alone. Does that bring any economic benefit to our society? The
24 Jan 2005 : Column 115
Henley Centre suggests not. There will be gainers and losers, however. The gainers will certainly be the casino owners, and probably the Chancellor, with extra income for the Treasury of perhaps £400 million a year by 2010. What the gaming industry would make is its own calculation. Who would contribute to that? The level of Exchequer revenue is dependent on the punters being losers: people must lose that amount and more for the Chancellor to be able to take the Government's scoop. All the evidence from Australia suggests that the deregulation of the gaming industry caused a massive increase in gambling debt and that the biggest single contributory factor was the introduction of category A gaming machines with unlimited prizes.

According to the Budd report,

The report also said:

We now know that in Australia people spend more on gaming machines than they spend on food. That is the distorting impact that gambling has on the way in which Australia's economy works. We are told that the cost to Australian society is some 5.6 billion Australian dollars a year, with a further 1 billion Australian dollars of losses. In terms of scale, the cost to the UK economy would be comparable or larger. Do we need that in our society? We need it like a hole in the head.

Angus Robertson (Moray) (SNP): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Alan Simpson: I will allow a soupc"on of time.

Angus Robertson: Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland fears that deregulation will lead to a surge in organised crime? It is not just an issue of personal debt.

Alan Simpson: That is a real fear, although I do not know how much weight should be given to it. According to a fair amount of evidence that we have seen in the House, we have proceeded with legislation against the advice of chief constables, and society has had to pay a heavy price.

Debt in our country is increasing by £1 million every four minutes. Today a statement from the Government considered ways of making it possible for low-income families to gain access to social housing by offering them discounts, but how can people pay for the mortgages that they have managed to acquire when they are running up debts? And the debts will be accumulated by the poorest: all the statistical evidence shows that three times as much gambling money comes from members of households earning less than £15,000 a year as comes from those earning over £32,000 a year.

The Chancellor's scoop, and the industry's scoop, of society's wealth will come disproportionately from the poorest. This is not a measure that will benefit the poor,
24 Jan 2005 : Column 116
redress inequalities in society and lift people out of poverty. It dangles before those people an inducement to gamble away the meagre incomes that their families have to survive on. We should be ashamed of feeling that we are under any pressure to introduce it in the interests of society. The only lobby in its favour that I have received has come from the gaming industry, and I am told that £100 million has been spent on its lobbying.

Not one person from the poor areas in my constituency has said, "Give us a break, guv, and bring this one in." In fact, we have been asked to put the brake on—and if 90 per cent. of people in the country are asking us to do that, that is what the House should do.

Mr. Moss: Amendment No. 106 is fairly straightforward. Its purpose is to ensure the continuation of the current practice known as trading up, which allows prizes, tokens and vouchers won on category D machines to be collected and swapped for larger prizes. Amendment No. 144 attempts to establish a level playing field between betting shops and adult gaming centres, especially in the context of fixed-odds betting terminals.

We tabled an amendment in Committee and there was a good discussion on it, but the Minister could offer no explanation in relation to adult gaming centres. He restricted his explanation of why a distinction was being made to bingo halls only. He said:

We already knew about that point, which was made in the context of bingo halls, but he gave no justification as to why fixed-odds betting terminals were banned from adult gaming centres.

We are not saying now that we want the current number of FOBTs in betting shops—

It being one hour before the moment of interruption, Madam Deputy Speaker, put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that hour, pursuant to Order [this day].

Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 170

Casino premises licence: overall limits

Amendment proposed: No. 143, in page 77, line 2, leave out "eight" and insert "four".— [Mr. Whittingdale.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 131, Noes 271.

Division No. 40
[9.01 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, rh James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Barker, Gregory
Bellingham, Henry
Beresford, Sir Paul
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burns, Simon
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Clappison, James
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dodds, Nigel
Dorrell, rh Stephen
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mark
Garnier, Edward
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, rh John
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, rh Oliver
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, rh Peter
Llwyd, Elfyn
MacDonald, Calum
Mackay, rh Andrew
Mackinlay, Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Maples, John
Maude, rh Francis
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, rh Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Norman, Archie
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Randall, John
Redwood, rh John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Steen, Anthony
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyrie, Andrew
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. David Ruffley and
Mr. Crispin Blunt


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, rh John
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh A. J.
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Breed, Colin
Brennan, Kevin
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cousins, Jim
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Doughty, Sue
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith (Streatham)
Holmes, Paul
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Illsley, Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, rh Thomas
McDonagh, Siobhain
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Meacher, rh Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moore, Michael
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Öpik, Lembit
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Plaskitt, James
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prescott, rh John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, James
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Rendel, David
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Ward, Claire
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Iain (Hartlepool)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Nick Ainger and
Paul Clark

Question accordingly negatived.

24 Jan 2005 : Column 119

Mr. Frank Field (Birkenhead) (Lab): On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. An amendment has been moved to limit the number of category A gambling machines. Will you be putting that to a vote?

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