UK casinos update

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

According to reports, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been putting together a revised parliamentary order under the Gambling Act 2005 (2005 Act) to permit the creation and development of eight large and eight small casinos in the UK. Large casinos will have a minimum total customer area of 1,500 m², up to 150 Category B gaming machines (which have a maximum jackpot of £4,000) and be allowed to offer bingo and betting. Small casinos will have a minimum total customer area of 750m², up to 80 Category B gaming machines and be allowed to offer betting.

Further to our previous update the proposed legislation is reported to exclude the so-called "super casino", the one regional casino permitted under the 2005 Act, which in January 2007 the Casino Advisory Panel (CAP) recommended be awarded to Greater Manchester.

Shortly after becoming Prime Minister, Gordon Brown instructed Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, to review the plans for the "super casino" and to look at alternative ways to generate deprived areas. The DCMS has said that it is still awaiting Ms Blear's report, although it has been reported that the new legislation for the sixteen large and small casinos could be introduced in the next few weeks. Leaders of Manchester City Council have been quoted as saying that they may seek judicial review if the proposal for a "super casino" is abandoned, stating that 3,500 jobs are at stake