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Finally, there is mention of further research being carried out by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board and the Responsible Gambling Fund that could feed into this regular review. The outcome of that will be awaited with interest.

7 pm

Baroness Rawlings: My Lords, this has been a very helpful debate and I thank all noble Lords who have spoken. I thank my noble friend Lord Clement-Jones for his support, and I will try and answer his three questions. The first was regarding a regular review, which the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, also wanted to know about. We would like a more systematic approach to be in place, and we are minded to return to a triennial review system, as the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, mentioned. We hope to develop this area with the industry and the Gambling Commission, and to explore how it might work. There are no plans for the moment to make changes to stake and prize limits for B2 machines.

The noble Lord's second question was regarding other establishments. The Government have made clear their commitment to the British amusement industry to deliver these measures. The Minister for Tourism is meeting Rileys Clubs Ltd tomorrow, Wednesday 6 July, to discuss this issue, and it would be wrong to pre-empt that meeting.

On the noble Lord's third question, also mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, the Gambling Commission originally favoured an approach based

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upon floor space. The Government took these views into account but felt, on balance, that the 20 per cent formula would be better placed to meet the needs of both the AGCs and bingo clubs, plus, it would offer a real boost to the machine manufacturers.

My noble friend Lord Moynihan is very knowledgeable in this area, because I believe he took through the previous Bill. I totally agree with him regarding the seaside resorts and that the Prime Minister supported this at a very early stage. As to the estimate of the economic benefit set out in the impact assessment, the impact assessment was considered by the independent regulatory policy committee and was assessed as being a reasonable estimate of impact. We therefore believe that it is an accurate estimate.

The noble Lord asked whether the new generation of machines would take the £2 coin. Yes, they will.

I am sorry that the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, has never tried slot machines, because they are rather fun for a flutter, but perhaps your Lordships' House is not quite the right place to have them.

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara: I mentioned it only because the age profile and ambience here seemed so appropriate.

Baroness Rawlings: Oh, well. Perhaps that is another place and another time.

The noble Lord asked a more serious question about tax, which of course is a matter for the Treasury.

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Decisions on the eventual rates and thresholds for a new duty will be made by the Chancellor in the 2012 Budget. The Treasury has launched a consultation on the design characteristics of the new duty. We would urge all interested parties to engage as fully as possible with the Treasury on this matter. I am aware of the industry's concern about any additional tax burdens and have made my Treasury colleagues aware of the industry's difficult economic situation and the need to minimise burdens on operators.

This has been a very constructive debate. I thank all noble Lords who have contributed. I commend the order to the Committee.

Motion agreed.

Categories of Gaming Machine (Amendment) Regulations 2011

Categories of Gaming Machine (Amendment) Regulations 2011
23rd Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instrument

Considered in Grand Committee

7.06 pm

Moved By Baroness Rawlings

Motion agreed.

Committee adjourned at 7.07 pm.

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