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Scotland's First Minister Vows to Stop Casino Expansion

3 November 2004

SCOTLAND, UK -- As reported by the Scotsman: "Jack McConnell has promised to do all he can to stop Las Vegas-style casinos spreading to Scotland.

"The First Minister is set to make planning guidelines and gambling regulations as tough as possible in a bid to block the super-casinos which will be allowed under a new law going through Westminster.

"The UK Government's proposals to allow casinos to open 24 hours a day with unlimited jackpots have sparked major controversy and led to a rebellion by 29 Labour backbenchers in a Commons vote.

"…Gambling laws are reserved for Westminster, but the responsibility for regulating casinos and bingo halls is devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Edinburgh has four casinos and there are proposals to build a new 'resort casino' next to Ocean Terminal at Leith and another at Musselburgh racecourse.

"But a spokesman for the First Minister said Mr McConnell would use regulations and planning guidelines to resist the proliferation of super-casinos.

"…The spokesman said Mr McConnell would want planning rules to be as tough as possible within the law.

"…And he rejected the argument casinos would prove a major tourist attraction…"

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