International edition
June 22, 2021

The Culture Secretary said councils involved should be allowed time for reflection

More confusion on British casino decisions

(UK).- Ministers were accused of being in “complete disarray” over gambling last night as it emerged that 16 towns and cities awarded the right to open casinos are to be asked if they still want them. James Purnell, the Culture Secretary, announced plans to check if any councils had had a “change of heart”.

J

ames Purnell, the Culture Secretary, announced plans to check if any councils had had a “change of heart” less than a week after it emerged that Gordon Brown had torn up plans for a Las Vegas-style super-casino in Manchester. At the time, Downing Street insisted there were no plans to abandon parallel proposals for eight large and small casinos in other towns and cities.

However, in a written Parliamentary statement yesterday, Purnell said the councils involved should be allowed time for reflection. Further decisions on casino plans will also be delayed until a report due in the autumn on the prevalence of gambling.

The Culture Secretary argued that May's local elections meant the political complexion of some councils had changed since January when the smaller casinos winners were announced. Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat culture spokesman, argued that the government's stance on gambling had been plunged into confusion.

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