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Policing and Crime Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 7th December 2016.

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Photo of Lord Beecham Lord Beecham Shadow Spokesperson (Housing), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Justice) 7:00 pm, 7th December 2016

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for her reply. At one stage I thought about asking her how much I should stake on the change that she seemed to be sympathetic towards.

However, I am slightly disconcerted by the latter part of the noble Baroness’s speech, when she referred to concerns about legal challenge. If there are such concerns, I hope the Minister will indicate that the Government would—assuming they want to make a change—enact the necessary legislation to pre-empt the legal challenge which might arise under the system as it currently stands.

With respect, I question one of the assumptions which is often made, and to which I referred in moving the amendment, about the contribution made to the economy. If the study to which I referred is correct, there is a net loss to the economy from the current operation of the industry in respect of fixed-odds betting—I am not talking about other elements of gambling. I invite the Minister to ensure that proper consideration is given to that aspect. The industry will undoubtedly talk up the economic benefits, but according to the report that I cited that seems not to be the case and it is misleading to make that claim.

However, it is clear that the Minister is at least sympathetic to the amendment. Although I will not seek to divide the House, I hope for a positive response as part of the process that the Government have already initiated. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 173B withdrawn.

Amendment 173C not moved.