JCDGB Call for written evidence

Press Notice

No. 3 of Session 2002-03, 19 November 2003


The two Houses of Parliament established a Joint Committee on the Draft Gambling Bill in the summer of 2003.  Following the publication by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport of around 50 draft clauses in July 2003 (Cm. 5878) further sections and policy information have been issued today (Cm. 6014).  These can be found at http://www.culture.gov.uk/global/publications/archive_2003/draftgamblingbill_Cm6014.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 (to which the Government must respond) by 8th April 2004.


The members of the Committee are as follows:

Chairman: John Greenway MP (Ryedale) (Conservative)


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


The Committee expects to start taking oral evidence in December. The programme of such evidence sessions will be announced as soon as possible.

The Joint Committee invites interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence as part of its inquiry into the Draft Gambling Bill. Submissions, reflecting the guidance on written evidence given in this press notice, should reach the Committee as soon as possible and must be submitted at the latest by 10th December 2003.

Scope of the Committee's inquiry

The Joint Committee expects to concentrate its inquiry on the following themes:

The proposed functions, duties and powers of the Gambling Commission

• transitional arrangements

• implications of the increase in size, functions (for example social responsibility, powers of entry to Members' clubs) and cost

• whether the Commission should regulate the National Lottery

• the content of the various Codes of Practice referred to in the bill and the associated consultation rights

• future proofing - will the proposals in the bill create a regulatory structure that is robust over time?

• whether spread betting should be regulated by the Gambling Commission, rather than the Financial Services Authority

Protection of children and vulnerable persons

• provisions of the bill relating to social protection

• Gambling Industry Charitable Trust-its funding, role and independence; and the extent of existing research

The proposed sectoral framework for gambling regulation

• Licensing-the potential increase in the number of licensed individuals and the role of local authorities in premises licensing

• Casinos-the potential for US-style resort casinos, issues concerning their ability to regenerate rundown areas and their impact on other areas of the industry

• Betting Exchanges-the ability to regulate them effectively and their impact on the rest of the betting industry, particularly bookmakers

• Remote Gambling-the ability to regulate effectively, given the increased accessibility of gambling on the internet and its impact on consumers

• Gaming Machines and Amusement with Prizes (AWP) machines-the impact of the changes in regulation on businesses providing ambient gambling facilities, the potential exposure of children to gambling, the appropriate licensing regime, maximum stakes and prize values

• Bingo clubs - the possible impact of deregulation on existing clubs

• Tax implications - how the proposed deregulation will fit with the existing tax regime for different aspects of gambling

• Society lotteries and prize competitions

Written evidence

All written evidence should be submitted to the Joint Committee no later than 10th December 2003. Given the limited time available for the submission of evidence and for the completion of the Committee's work, written evidence should be short and should concentrate on the major issues arising from the draft Bill.

Written evidence should contain, if appropriate, a brief introduction to the persons or organisations submitting it. Submissions should take the form of a memorandum and should have numbered paragraphs. An indicative length would be 1,000- 1,200 words - memoranda which exceed five pages should be accompanied by a one-page summary. Submissions may be accompanied by background material (perhaps already published elsewhere) which would not be reprinted by the Joint Committee.

We wish to receive written evidence, if possible in MS Word or rich text format, by e-mail to scrutiny@parliament.uk.  To ensure your email is directed to the correct committee, type Gambling in the subject box. A single hard copy (single-sided, unbound) should also be sent to Alison Mara, Committee Office Scrutiny Unit, House of Commons, London SW1P 3JW. Fax 020 7219 8381

Once written evidence has been submitted it becomes the property of the Committee. Those who have submitted written evidence to the Joint Committee are welcome to publish their evidence themselves (for example by placing it on their own website), provided that it is not published until after the Joint Committee has acknowledged receipt of the evidence and that it is made clear that the document was prepared as evidence to the Joint Committee. Written submissions from those giving oral evidence will be available at the relevant hearing. Written evidence from others will either be published by the Committee with its final Report or placed in the public domain when that Report is published. Individuals and organisations considering submitting information to the Committee that they would wish the Committee to treat as confidential should consult the Clerks in advance, initially by sending an e-mail to the address given above.

Further notices will be issued shortly, indicating how the Committee will proceed.

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.


Alison Mara,
Committee Office Scrutiny Unit,
House of Commons, London

Fax 020 7219 8381

The government's own separate consultation

The Government is undertaking its own consultation exercise on the draft bill  and has asked for comments by 28 February 2004.  Details are contained in Chapter 8 of the Policy document which accompanies the draft bill.