I very much agree with my hon. Friend. He gets to the nub of my concern about the Bill, which is that companies based in places such as Gibraltar are already particularly well regulated by the authorities there, which is why the Bill is complete nonsense from any regulatory or licensing perspective—it is clearly about taxation. Once we get over the emperor’s new clothes situation, I hope that the Government will take my hon. Friend’s advice, because the most effective way to license and regulate those industries will be by using the expertise that already exists.
Notwithstanding my concerns about empire building by the Gambling Commission, which I hope will not be a consequence of the Bill, and the fact that I consider the regulatory system for gambling to have taken a step backwards, I support the Bill and hope that the revenue raised will be useful in paying down our debts. The success or failure of the Bill will depend not on the legislation, but on the rates of taxation the Treasury places on the gambling industry as a consequence of it. The Treasury—I hope that the Minister will take this message back—must not stifle some of the smaller niche gambling companies, which employ many people in this country, because they would be finished off by a rate of 15%. The big gambling companies can look after themselves, but the smaller ones need a competitive rate. Otherwise, they will go out of business and we will end up losing jobs and tax revenue. Notwithstanding those concerns, I support the Bill.