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Blair Challenged in Casino Talks

8 August 2005

LONDON, UK -- As reported by the BBC: "Tony Blair is facing calls for a promise he will not weaken money laundering laws to attract foreign casino operators to the UK.

"The Conservative demands come after papers about government talks with casino firms about the rules last year.

"The Tories say there are 'clear discrepancies' between the documents and what ministers told Parliament.

"The government denies the claim and says there is no question of diluting money laundering rules.

"…Casino operators were worried proposed European money-laundering rules would force them to obtain 'satisfactory evidence of identity' of any person gambling in a casino.

"This could reinstate the 'members only' rules the new laws were supposed to abolish, they argued.

"…Conservative shadow culture secretary Theresa May said the new papers raised "huge question marks" over the government's relationship with foreign casino operators.

"…The government says it was 'entirely right', to talk to the casino industry during significant reforms of gambling laws…"

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