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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether he plans to produce a response to the conclusions of the working group on regulation and administration of on-course betting before publication of the consultation document that he referred to in his speech in Westminster Hall on 4 July 2007, Official Report, column 259WH; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: My Department does not intend to produce a separate response to the conclusions of the working group, which are presently out to consultation on the National Joint Pitch Council's website www.njpc-ltd.co.uk. The future administrative arrangements for on-course bookmaking are for the bookmaking and racing industries to agree between themselves; it would not be appropriate for Government to favour one alternative above another. However, we understand the importance of those working in the bookmaking industry being able to comment on what is proposed, and so my officials have worked with the group to ensure that its conclusions are expressed in a logical and transparent format.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effect of the Gambling Act 2005 on bookmakers' on-course pitch positions; what recent discussions he has had with the Racecourse Association on this topic; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: As I indicated during the Westminster Hall debate on this subject on 4 July 2007, Official Report , columns 237-60WH, and subsequently when I wrote on 25 July to hon. Members with an interest in this matter, the Government do not accept that the Gambling Act 2005 has had a direct effect on bookmakers' on-course pitch positions. No property has changed hands under the Act itself, nor does the Act abolish the National Pitch Rules or the National Joint Pitch Council. It remains open for racecourses, individually or collectively, to use the next five years to negotiate a commercial arrangement which is satisfactory to both sides.
Mr. Sutcliffe: Under the Gambling Act fixed odds betting terminals have been classified as category B2 gaming machines. The Gambling Commissions annual report 2006-07 estimates that there are 24,500 such machines located in licensed betting premises.
As a result of the Gambling Act 2005 these machines are now strictly regulated alongside other gaming machines for the first time. They are required to abide by strict limits on stakes and prizes (£100 and £500 respectively). The machines also have to comply with regulations, set by the Department, controlling the circumstances in which they are made available for use, and with technical standards set by the Gambling Commission. These include requirements to display information about where customers may obtain advice about gambling problems and a minimum game cycle duration.
B2 gaming machines may only be made available in the heavily regulated environment of casinos and licensed betting premises, both of which may be accessed by adults only. Casinos may offer a maximum of 20 gaming machines of up to category B1 and licensed betting premises a maximum of four gaming machines of up to category B2.
Mr. Sutcliffe: The following figures reflect the amount and percentage of grants awarded to statutory bodies in each year. They include awards under the Big Lottery Funds new programmes introduced since June 2004 and legacy programmes inherited from the Community Fund and New Opportunities Fund.
|Financial year (ending 31 March)||Amount awarded to statutory bodies (£)||Percentage of grants awarded to statutory bodies|
The Big Lottery Fund was created in June 2004. The definition of Statutory Bodies used covers the European regional development fund, further or higher education or university, local government, non-departmental public bodies, parish councils, public corporations, state schools and statutory health bodies.
The Big Lottery Fund has given an undertaking that, under its new programmes, 60-70 per cent. of the funding will go to the third sector. Between June 2004 and March 2007, the figure for third sector awards under new programmes has been 77 per cent. 23 per cent. has gone to the statutory sector.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which projects were awarded funding by the Big Lottery Fund in each of the last five years in Wirral, broken down by constituency. 
|Wirral West||Wirral South||Birkenhead||Wallasey|
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department does not gather information on the average cost of a bookmaker's premises licences in each local authority in England and Wales. The Secretary of State has set maximum fee levels for all classes and types of premises licence. The Gambling (Premises Licence Fees) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (SI No. 479) require licensing authorities in England and Wales to determine the fee for each type of licence on a cost recovery basis.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the British Casino Gambling Association since the oral answer from the Prime Minister of 11 July 2007, Official Report, column 1438. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The decision to apply to the casino advisory panel was a matter for the local authorities concerned. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not hold information about how much was spent by local authorities in preparing applications.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the Government's plans are for the establishment of super, large and small casinos as laid out in the Gambling Act 2005. 
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of people who regularly take part in mountaineering, including rock climbing and fell walking. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Data from the 2005-06 Sport England Active People survey showed that 146,600 adults (16 years and over) regularly participated in mountaineering including climbing and fell walking. Active People regards participating at least once in the last four weeks as regular participation.
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