Clause 6 - Gaming and Game of chance

Part of Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 11th November 2004.

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Photo of Julie Kirkbride Julie Kirkbride Conservative, Bromsgrove 10:45 am, 11th November 2004

The Opposition are prompted to respond, following the protestations from the Minister and the hon. Member for West Ham, who is my friend and who, I suspect, will be displeased by the Minister's remarks next Tuesday. The Minister has had a number of years to consider the legislation; the Government have not come up with it in the past six months. They established a scrutiny Committee, which spent many months doing a great deal of hard work on the issue. I disagreed with many of its proposals, but nevertheless its members treated the subject seriously. The Government were supposed to take the Committee's view into account, given that they initiated the scrutiny process. It is therefore disingenuous of the Minister to say that the Government are listening and that it is fine for them to backtrack on some of their proposals.

The Government had a long time to consider the issues, but they did not produce a solution acceptable to the House and have been forced to retreat. The Minister talked about the great things that the Bill will do and I accept that the provisions on internet regulation are right and proper. Indeed, they are welcome and needed. However, the legislation is limited because, as the Minister admitted just the other day in Committee, there will be no jurisdiction over sites not based in the United Kingdom. There is a limit to how much harm can be regulated by the Bill. However, the simple fact is that the most important part of the Bill, which deals with casinos, was to do a great deal—