Stakes are raised as casino numbers threaten to rocket

The Government’s gambling watchdog has confirmed that there could be over 200 casinos in Britain – despite Government promises to limit the number to 150.

Following enquiries made by The Christian Institute, the Gambling Commission has confirmed the total number of casinos could reach 226 if pending applications, made under the old 1968 legislation, are all successful.

There are currently 144 casinos operating in Great Britain. When the Gambling Bill was being debated in 2005, the Government promised: “there will be no more than 150 casinos. There could be fewer.”

News of a potential explosion in the number of casinos comes soon after the Government confirmed the go-ahead for 16 huge new ‘regional’ casinos – the largest casinos yet allowed to operate in the UK.

Liberal Democrat MP, Don Foster, said: “The Government has spent months messing everyone concerned around over these new casinos while turning a blind eye to an explosion in the number of casinos just around the corner.”

Dr Emanuel Moran, specialist adviser on pathological gambling for the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: “This is a major leap up the scale. We are going to see casinos springing up across the country with more machines offering bigger jackpots and that is unacceptable and irresponsible.”

The General Synod of the Church of England recently stated its “grave concern” at the Government’s “apparent enthusiasm for the promotion of gambling”, which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said was “profoundly costly.”

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