Now, gamble with the English, the British way

London, Feb 26 | Updated: Feb 27 2008, 05:24am hrs
The British government is set to formally lay out plans on Tuesday, for 16 large casinos across the country, including a requirement that the gambling industry make a multi-million pound charity payment, political and industry sources said.

Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe will make an announcement in parliament, a political source said, while an industry source said the government would give details on the set-up of new casinos, including the number of slot machines and gaming tables to be allowed.

Sutcliffe will tell the gambling industry that it needs to ensure 4 million ($7.9 million) a year, is paid to The Responsibility in Gambling Trust (RIGT) or the government will look to introduce some form

of mandatory payment, a source said.

Currently, only about 10% of Britains 3,800 licensed gambling operators, including bookmakers, bingo halls and online gaming companies, pay money to RIGT, an independent trust, given voluntary funding by the gambling industry to research and limit problem gambling.

Sutcliffes announcement should also end talk about a so-called supercasino, which had been set to be built in Manchester, northern England, before plans were effectively shelved by Gordon Brown last July, shortly after he became Prime Minister. Brown said there should be better ways to regenerate the area and launched a review of casino policy, which will result in Tuesdays statement.

Reuters