Clause 13 - Betting intermediary

Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 11th November 2004.

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Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 3:00 pm, 11th November 2004

I beg to move amendment No. 123, in

clause 13, page 6, line 16, at end insert—

'either electronically or by any other means.'.

I stress that this is a probing amendment. Adding to the clause the words that I have suggested might be useful clarification, as the clause does not make it clear that electronic betting is specifically covered. The question that I had in mind was whether the definition of ''betting intermediary'' will apply to internet service providers. No doubt the Minister can clarify the point. Once again, I am not suggesting that my own drafting is perfect; I tabled the amendment as a way of seeking clarification. I look forward to hearing the Minister's response.

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

I am pleased that the hon. Gentleman gave an explanation, because it was unclear exactly what he intended by the amendment. He is concerned to ensure that, in the definition of ''betting intermediary'' as it appears in the clause, it is explicit that the intermediary may operate either remotely, by the internet, or non-remotely, over the counter. Based on that, the amendment is entirely unnecessary. A key feature of the Bill is that gambling may be conducted by remote or non-remote means. That is set out specifically with regard to betting intermediaries, and all other types of operators, under part 5, which covers operating licences.

Clause 61 states that there will be a specific operating licence for betting intermediaries, and clause 63 requires such a licence, in common with every other sort of operating licence, to state whether it is a remote operating licence or not. That provision makes sense only if it is possible for a betting intermediary licence to be either a remote or a non-remote operating licence. With that explanation, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will withdraw his probing amendment.

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath

I am grateful to the Minister. That provides the helpful, on-the-record clarification that I was seeking, and I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 13 ordered to stand part of the Bill.