Methodist delight at decision to drop the supercasino

The Methodist Church welcomes today's Governmentannouncement that they will not grant a supercasino licence.Proposals for supercasinos, also known as regional casinos, havebeen strongly opposed by The Methodist Church.

Alison Jackson, Team Leader for Public Issues in the MethodistChurch, said "we are delighted to hear that the Government is notintending to grant a licence for a supercasino. We are pleased thatthe Government has listened to reason and decided against buildinga massive gambling complex with unlimited jackpot fruit machines ina deprived area. The Methodist Church calls on the Government tosupport other ways of regenerating those communities most inneed."

The Methodist Church will continue to monitor the impact of the 16new large and small casinos that will now open as planned. TheChurch will keep pressure on the government and the industry to doall they can to protect players and support people who have agambling problem.

Alison says "the new casinos will be a cause of concern for manypeople, not least those who live in the neighbourhoods where thecasinos are going to be built. We urge the casino operators and thelicensing authorities to do all in their power to encourageresponsible gaming, and to help those in need."

The new casinos will be subject to a three-year evaluation periodto monitor their impact. The Methodist Church is demanding thatthis time period should start when the casinos open and take threeyears of full operation into account. The premises will take timeto build and fit out, so counting the three years from the date onwhich the licences are awarded could mean that the casinos havebeen open for only a few weeks when the review takes place.

ENDS Notes: 1. Against the odds…? is a briefing on the Gambling Act 2005 fromthe Methodist Church and the Salvation Army, and contains detailsof the Churches' concerns about gambling.