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A Win-Win for Online Gambling
Online casinos gaming trade body iGGBA has withdrawn membership from The
Gambling Federation in a noble act of self-policing. But with a
general election looming and time running out for the new legislation,
online gambling regulation faces a toothless future.
A general election date of 5 May looks evermore certain, following the
results of an ICM poll published in the Guardian this week that show
Labour eight points ahead of the Conservatives, their biggest lead
The chances are, then, that the Gambling Bill – that long developed
and scrutinised piece of legislation – will not be passed, despite all
those assurances from the DCMS that the timetable was sound.
The reason is simply that the Government appears to have run out of
time. In recent election years, parliament has been dissolved roughly
30 days ahead of the proposed election date. If 5 May is indeed the
date, and the simple fact that not a single MP appears to be briefing
otherwise indicates that it will be, then parliament will be dissolved
on Tuesday 5 April.
Considering Easter takes place this coming weekend, that would
leave a total of six working days to get the bill out of the committee
stage, back for a third reading in the Lords and then back to the
Commons for MPs to vote on any amendments.
Of course, the Government could make the bill a priority and force
it through. The main bone of contention now lies with the cap on
regional, large and small bricks-and-mortar casinos of eight each.
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2004 Online Casino News Archive