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BCA Refutes UK Government's Claims

9 March 2005

LONDON – (PRESS RELEASE) -- As the Gambling Bill enters Committee in the Lords tomorrow, the BCA refutes the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport's claims that the Association is demanding the right for its members to introduce the new, unlimited jackpot gaming machines envisaged by the Bill within their existing licences.

Penny Cobham, BCA chairman commented:

"Despite repeated public announcements and private correspondence with the DCMS in which the BCA has disavowed any interest in participating in the introduction of big-jackpot gaming machines in the UK, the Secretary of State continues to claim that we are asking for Category A machines for existing casino licences. The BCA is not, and ministers should know this full well.

"All we are asking for is a modest increase in the number of Category B, limited prize gaming machines that the Government itself offered us last year, but then withdrew in one of its many U-turns over the Gambling Bill. We are making a reasonable demand because if the Government refuses to allow us to participate in its de-regulation of British gambling in even this very limited way, Britain's respected operators will be frozen in time and unable to compete with the new operators entering the country.

"For the Gambling Bill to go through without amendment would be an extremely unfair outcome for a British industry with an impeccable track record of social responsibility and the lowest incidence of problem gambling in the world. We call on Peers today to ensure that the Government is not permitted to damage a respected British industry through such unfair legislation."

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