Committee Visits

Session 2002-03, 12 November 2003

The Joint Committee on the draft Gambling Bill plans to issue a call within the next month for anyone interested in the draft Gambling Bill to submit written evidence.  This will be issued in the form of a press notice once further details of the bill have been published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.  Oral hearings will follow, which will be open to the public.  Further press notices will set out the programme for these hearings.

The Committee also plans to visit Great Yarmouth on 1st December and Blackpool on 8th and 9th December as part of its inquiry.  Both visits will consist of a series of private, informal meetings with a range of interested parties.  Provisionally, these include: tourist industry representatives, groups opposing the further expansion of gambling facilities, local authority officials and members, leisure industry representatives, faith groups, members of borough council licensing committees and local development agencies.

The full membership of the Committee is listed below; not all members will be participating in both visits.  Further details will be available from the Committee's office nearer the time.

Commenting on the forthcoming visits, John Greenway MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

"Great Yarmouth already has a wide variety of gambling and gaming outlets.  We are keen to learn how local operators view the government's proposals for deregulation and how new opportunities might contribute to regeneration in the town."

"Proposals to create an international casino resort in Blackpool are well known.  The Committee is looking forward to being briefed about these plans.  However we will also meet local groups opposed to the plans as well as those who have not yet made up their minds."

The Committee will also be conducting short visits within the London area.

Background

The two Houses of Parliament have established a Joint Committee on the Draft Gambling Bill.  The draft bill is to be a significant piece of legislation which would consolidate the existing law relating to betting and gaming.  It will include provisions to create a single regulatory authority for gambling - the Gambling Commission - with three objectives: to prevent gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way and to protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.  Clauses in the draft bill will propose changes to the way gambling is licensed, for example by providing for remote technology gambling to be licensed in the United Kingdom for the first time.  The draft bill will also include clauses relating to the advertising of gambling, gambling contracts, chain gifting, rules relating to prize competitions and the regulation of the National Lottery.

The full text of the draft Bill has not yet been published.  Certain clauses were published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on 15 July 2003  (Cm 5878).  These can be found at:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/global/publications/archive_2003/gambling_bill_cmnd5878.htm

The remit of the Committee is to consider the draft bill and to report on it to both Houses. The Committee will proceed in the normal manner of Select Committees, by holding hearings and receiving written evidence. The Committee will publish a report making recommendations by 8 April 2004 to which the Government must respond.

Membership

Chairman: John Greenway MP (Ryedale) Conservative

Janet Anderson MP (Rossendale & Darwen) Labour
Tony Banks MP (West Ham) Labour
Jeff Ennis MP (Barnsley East & Mexborough) Labour
Alan Meale MP (Mansfield) Labour
Richard Page MP (South West Hertfordshire) Conservative
Dr John Pugh MP (Southport) Lib Dem
Tony D. Wright MP (Great Yarmouth) Labour

The Rt Hon Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville Conservative
Lord Donoughue Labour
Lord Falkland Lib Dem
Lord Faulkner of Worcester Labour
Baroness Golding Labour
Lord Mancroft Conservative
Lord Wade of Chorlton Conservative
Lord Walpole Cross Bencher

Members' declared interests are available on the Committee's website.

To follow the progress of the inquiry, you may:

Visit  http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/jcdgb.cfm

Ask to be added to the mailing list for future notices.

Contact:

Alison Mara
Committee Office Scrutiny Unit
House of Commons, London
SW1P 3JW.

E-mail: [email protected] (Please have the single word Gambling in the subject box).

Tel: 020 7219 8388

Fax 020 7219 8381