Casinos

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 9th October 2006.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 2:30 pm, 9th October 2006

I suppose that the Minister's having paid so much attention to what I said at last week's highly successful Conservative party conference is a form of progress. However, it is astonishing that, just weeks away from the decision on the super-casino licence, we still do not know the criteria by which the pilot scheme will be judged a success or failure. Is not the reason that the Minister and his Department have already decided that they want more super-casinos, and will use any excuse to increase the number? The Minister said in an earlier answer that this matter would be brought before Parliament by the casino advisory panel, but he should be aware that, under clause 175 of the 2005 Act, the Secretary of State has the right to increase the number. Will the Minister take this opportunity to rule out increasing the number of super-casinos, even if the panel fails to recommend just one? A simple yes or no will suffice.