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Fight Continues for UK Gamblers' Money

8 April 2005

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by Reuters: "Drastic cuts in UK government ambitions to reform the gambling industry appear to have pole-axed foreign investors, but the battle for the British gambler's pound is not yet over, casino operators said on Friday.

"The controversial bill to modernize Britain's 40-year-old gambling laws had originally promised 20 to 40 Las Vegas-style regional casinos, angering anti-addiction campaigners and many UK operators who feared they would be unable to compete in the new environment.

"The government later cut back the number of regional casinos to eight, but on Thursday it slashed it to just one after the opposition Conservative Party said that was the only way it would allow the bill to pass in the tight schedule remaining before parliament is dissolved ahead of May's election.

"…The price was also high for international corporations like Caesar's Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands Corp., which were interested in investing in Britain.

"…By contrast, on Tuesday shares in British companies Rank and Stanley Leisure rose 3 percent on talk of the concessions…"

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