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UK Politicians Give Evidence In Committee Gambling Hearing

During a UK Parliamentary Select Committee hearing on Thursday, former politicians responsible for gambling gave evidence that will be used in the study of the British gambling industry.

Among the politicians testifying before the Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee were former Secretary of State Tessa Jowell and Former Sport and Tourism Minister Richard Caborn.

Caborn testified that the Labour Party had plans to allow for multiple super land casinos but aborted the plans after negative press by the Daily Mail newspaper in 2005. Jowell said that there would be only one provision for a casino instead of the eight that were originally proposed.

When asked if the concessions to the casinos were a politically based decision, Caborn testified that: “There were two things. One is you’ve got a campaign run by a national newspaper and … you were coming up to an election in 2005.”

"That was the reality of it. Did you save the chunk of the Bill - online gambling and all that - did you save all that and do a deal on wash-up?"

The super casino idea was dropped in 2008 with none of the facilities being built.

Jowell then claimed that there were problems with the gambling machines, saying "I think it is possible to lose, if you just play constantly for an hour, you can lose £18,000. I would be concerned about that."

Others scheduled to testify before the committee include: Andre Wilsenach, Executive Director, Alderney Gambling Control Commission; Phillip Brear, Gambling Commissioner, Gibraltar Gambling Commission and Graham White, Chairman, Jersey Gambling Commission.

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