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UK – NCF takes reform agenda to No.10 Downing Street

By - 21 September 2017

Tracy Damestani, chief executive of the National Casino Forum, has outlined plans to modernise the casino sector at a meeting in 10 Downing Street. The National Casino Forum is calling for a reform of the outdated regulations governing the UK’s 148 casinos, allowing the industry to offer its customers greater choice and make available the same innovative products and games which are widely found overseas.

Accompanying her to 10 Downing Street, were Simon Thomas, chief executive and chairman of the Hippodrome Casino, and Richard Noble, chief operating officer of Aspers Group, both leading members of the National Casino Forum.

They discussed the NCF’s proposals with No 10 Policy Unit officials ahead of the review of the gambling industry, which is due to be published by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) within weeks.

The NCF outlined its plans, which propose measured changes in line with overseas offerings, and were presented in response to a Call for Evidence by the DCMS. They include:

– Harmonising the regulatory position so that casinos operating under converted 1968 Act licences enjoy the same entitlements as casinos licensed under the 2005 Act, which would mean increasing the ratio of gaming machines to tables from 2:1 to 3:1 for small casinos, increasing the number from 20 to a maximum 80.

– Changing the law which currently limits the gambling products available in casinos – this would allow operators to take advantage of technological advances, offer access to their online business and ensure they are internationally competitive.

The NCF delegation discussed the current state of the gambling industry and re-affirmed the casino’s industry long-standing commitment to responsible gambling. They updated officials on the work of Playing Safe, the sector’s pioneering programme which was launched in 2103 and subjects all casinos to independent scrutiny.

Tracy Damestani, chief executive of the National Casino Forum, said: “We were happy to have the opportunity to state our case for positive change in the casino sector. We believe our proposed reforms would enable operators to meet customers’ expectations while ensuring casinos remain safe environments for responsible gambling.”

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