UK govt clears latest 29 casino applications - Thursday 23rd of November 2006

About half of the casino owners who rushed in applications for additional venues ahead of new regulation in April 2006 have already cleared the first hurdle, Britains Gambling Commission said on Thursday.

The Commission -- the first hurdle the casino hopefuls must pass -- told Reuters it had so far dealt with 29 applications for new venues and approved all 29 of them.

Reuters Pictures

Editors Choice: Best pictures

from the last 24 hours.

View Slideshow

The rush came ahead of new legislation to open up and regulate the gambling industry from 2007, which will initially limit the number of future new casinos to 17, including one Las Vegas-style supercasino.

A London gaming executive said local licensing authorities -- the second and final hurdle -- were this year approving about 40 percent of the casino applications they handled.

But before the new legislation, the Gaming Act, took force in April 2006, operators rushed in 63 new casino applications under the old regime based on 1968 legislation.

Casino operators now face the second test for their 29 applications -- gaining approval from local authorities, which will often refuse a licence if they cannot prove there is local demand.

Analysts warned in April that if all 63 applications were fully approved, on top of the 17 that will be approved under new legislation from 2007, Britain might suffer from oversupply.

Theres currently about a 40 percent success rate," said the London gaming executive. "As of this week, 23 cases had been dealt with by the (local) gaming licensing authorities in 2006, with 10 of them granted, 11 refused and two withdrawn."

"There are 33 further licence applications that have been lodged for hearing," said the executive, who has been monitoring them on a case-by-case basis. "But many have planning issues."

"If you extrapolate that 40 percent success rate to all 63 casino applications the gambling commission said it was handling after the cut-off in April, youd expect about 25 to get fully approved," he added.

In addition, there are 14 casinos that were approved at both levels before 2006, but are not yet operating.

Reuters Pictures

Editors Choice: Best pictures

from the last 24 hours.

View Slideshow

In total, Britains 140 casinos could swell to around 190 once all the applications under new and old legislation have been dealt with.

"But it could be the end of the decade before theyre all up and running," said the executive.

Other news from around the same time

New Sun International casino to boost tourism in Cape - Thursday 23rd of November 2006

Cape Town - Sun Internationals newest casino complex, which opened yesterday in the country town of ....


Tien loses revamped Lantau casino bid - Thursday 23rd of November 2006

The government has refused to even consider building a casino anywhere in Hong Kong, siding with maj....


Gamblers jailed for $750,000 casino scam - Thursday 23rd of November 2006

Four Chinese nationals and an Australian citizen have all received jail sentences for their involvem....


Slot machine group Talarius sold to Australians for £137m - Thursday 23rd of November 2006

The operator of the Quicksilver chain of slot machine gaming centres agreed yesterday to be taken ov....


Casino Royale - Wednesday 9th of August 2006

WHO would have bet on it? Prince Harry has been spotted playing blackjack and roulette at a Bournemo....


Online poker players face legal issues - Wednesday 9th of August 2006

With the nightclub Tao swathed in red and black, music pulsated and go-go dancers gyrated on raised ....


Online poker players face legal issues - Wednesday 9th of August 2006

With the nightclub Tao swathed in red and black, music pulsated and go-go dancers gyrated on raised ....


Pause Urged for Pennsylvania Slot Legislation - Wednesday 9th of August 2006

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "State Sen. Jeffrey Piccol....


Nevada Gold Gets Temporary License - Wednesday 9th of August 2006

HOUSTON, Texas – Nevada Gold & Casinos, Inc. (AMEX:UWN), today announced that the New York Lot....


Guam Anti-Gambling Group Sued for Defamation - Wednesday 9th of August 2006

GUAM – As reported by the Guam Pacific Daily News: "Slots-machine proponent Guam Greyhound and it....