April 3, 2007 / 11:37 AM / 11 years ago

High Court to review new casino laws

LONDON (Reuters) - The High Court is to review rules surrounding new UK casinos to answer operators’ complaints that existing venues would be hit hard by a planned wave of Las Vegas-style casinos.

The three-day hearing is to take place by May 25 to allow time for any necessary legislative changes to be made before the new regulations take effect on September 1.

Operators have complained that existing casinos would be at a disadvantage as the new, larger, casinos will be allowed more highly profitable slot machines, than current ones.

Under government plans now in limbo after Lords threw them out last week, a new 5,000 square metre supercasino was set to have 1,250 slot machines, and licences awarded for eight large casinos with 150 machines and eight small casinos, with 80 gaming machines.

The British Casino Association (BCA) said it was asking the High Court to order the Secretary of State to look again at the new rules.

“The additional entitlements given to the 17 new casinos will seriously threaten many long established businesses,” said BCA chairman Penny Cobham.

“The Association strongly believes that the Secretary of State has erred in considering and determining the arrangements for existing casinos in such a way that gives rise to very serious concerns about their impact and lawfulness,” the BCA added.

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