Clause 15 - Betting and gaming

Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 11th November 2004.

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Photo of Malcolm Moss Malcolm Moss Shadow Minister, Home Affairs 3:45 pm, 11th November 2004

I beg to move amendment No. 91, in

clause 15, page 7, line 30, at end insert

'which shall include forecast competitions and fantasy football competitions.'.

The amendment is designed to seek clarification that the definition includes forecast and fantasy football competitions.

Photo of Richard Caborn Richard Caborn Minister of State (Sport and Tourism), Department for Culture, Media & Sport

The addition of forecast and fantasy football competitions by the amendment is unnecessary. Such competitions would ordinarily be treated as betting under the Bill because they fall under clause 11. Clause 15 deals with situations where a gambling transaction can be described as betting and gaming. It applies to all forms of betting. Where forecast or fantasy football competitions can be said to be gaming as well as betting, clause 15 will deal with the overlap without the need for the additional words in the amendment. As with any other overlap situation under clause 15, where there is an overlap, the transaction shall be treated as gaming. For those reasons, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Malcolm Moss Malcolm Moss Shadow Minister, Home Affairs

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Malcolm Moss Malcolm Moss Shadow Minister, Home Affairs

Under the heading of ''Betting and gaming'', I want to raise several points on a broader footing that have been put to me by the Association of British Bookmakers. There is a number of products on offer in betting offices in addition to sports betting, and I have three examples. First, ''The 49s'' is a fixed-odds betting product that offers customers the ability to bet on a televised numbers draw. Secondly, ''Rapido'' involves customers in making a selection from 80 numbers at fixed odds. Winning numbers are generated by a random number generator and displayed in the shop on a television screen. Thirdly, the Irish lottery involves bookmakers offering fixed odds on the outcome of the Irish and other foreign lotteries. I am told that those products are extremely popular and generate significant betting revenue. Turnover is estimated at £300 million-plus per annum.

Under the present law, those are clearly defined as betting products. However, clause 15 does not make it

clear whether that status is to be retained. It would be helpful if the Minister confirmed that it is not the Government's intention to change the categorisation of those products that appear in betting shops. It would also be helpful if we had some steer on that, either in clause stand part or at a future date when he has had a chance to consider the individual nature of those machines.

Photo of Richard Caborn Richard Caborn Minister of State (Sport and Tourism), Department for Culture, Media & Sport

As usual, my officials were very efficient. They told me the categories in which those board games will fall. I will read them out. ''The 49s'' is betting. Fixed-odds betting terminals are gaming. ''Rapido'' is gaming, and betting on the Irish lottery is betting. They will, therefore, fall under the definition of the Bill as they apply to betting and gaming.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 15 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 16 ordered to stand part of the Bill.