Clause 6 - Gaming and Game of chance

Part of Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 11th November 2004.

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Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 10:15 am, 11th November 2004

I have been reflecting on what the Minister said in response to my point. I understand his valid point about future-proofing and the need to leave a future Secretary of State the discretion to take account of something new being invented. That is an adequate answer.

However, may I pose the question the other way round? This may give some security to people who are planning investments in this area or who may have to consider licensing or planning as a consequence of the Bill. Is the Minister able to state that, based on the current definitions of ''game of chance'' and ''sport'', he does not expect to have to produce regulations under subsection (6) immediately after the enactment of the Bill, but wants the power only for something that might be invented in future? If the Minister were able to make such a statement, that would give some certainty. I fear that if the Secretary of State and the Minister cannot give such an assurance, we might be faced with a situation in which something that everyone at present treats as a game, a sport or a game of chance suddenly changes immediately after the Bill has come into force. I hope that the Minister will understand why I put it in that way.