Gambling Bill votes

In a nutshell

A combination of two votes on the general principle of the Gambling Bill.

The details

In October 2004 the Government introduced its Gambling Bill to liberalise the laws on gambling.

A vote on the Second Reading or the Third Reading of a Bill is a vote on the Bill in principle. Therefore, combined together, the votes cast on the Second and Third Readings show an MP’s position on the Gambling Bill in principle.

On the 1st November 2004 the House of Commons voted on the on the general principle of the Gambling Bill at its Second Reading. MPs voted for the Bill by 288 votes to 214.1On the 24th January 2005 MPs again voted on the on the general principle of the Gambling Bill at its Third Reading. MPs voted by 238 to 40 for the Bill.2Amendments were made to the Bill between Second Reading and Third Reading. This was as a result of widespread opposition in the Commons and in the press. These amendments restricted the number of the new type of casinos allowed to eight regional casinos, eight large casinos and eight small casinos.3

However, the principle of the Bill remained unchanged – the deregulation and promotion of the gambling industry. For example, the Bill still allowed casinos to introduce thousands of new unlimited prize slot machines and to advertise for the first time; it abolished the ‘demand’ test for new casinos and betting shops; and it sought to promote internet gambling.

Following its Third Reading in the House of Commons, the Bill passed to the House of Lords, where the Government wanted to get the Bill through before the General Election. During Report Stage, with time running out, the Government agreed to further reduce the number of regional casinos from eight to one.4 The next day the Bill received Royal Assent on 7 April 2005.

The Act applies to England, Scotland and Wales.

How we recorded the vote

  • Voted for the Gambling Bill
  • Voted against the Gambling Bill
  • Abstained or was absent on the votes for the Second and Third Readings of the Gambling Bill
  1. 1House of Commons, Hansard, 1 November 2004, cols 130-134
  2. 2House of Commons, Hansard, 24 January 2005, cols 130-132
  3. 3House of Commons Standing Committee B – Gambling Bill, Hansard, Seventeenth Sitting, 16 December 2004 (Morning), cols 618-619
  4. 4House of Lords, Hansard, 6 April 2005, col. 834