Britain grapples with casino growth

Oct. 26, 2004 at 9:21 AM

LONDON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair could face a cabinet revolt over a proposal to allow as many as 40 new super-casinos to be built.

At a Downing Street news conference, Blair repeated assurances the Gambling Act amendment would create only 20 to 40 Las Vegas-style super-casinos and denied the casinos and their 24-hour-a-day drinking was a threat to the country's moral fabric, The Times of London reports.

However, there were indications not everyone in the cabinet approved, including Home Secretary David Blunkett and Chancellor Gordon Brown.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who is in charge of the bill, is being urged by colleagues to accept a cap on casinos to reassure opponents who fear a gambling explosion, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, a poll taken Monday night for The Guardian newspaper found 53 percent of voters said Britain did not need more casinos, while only a third backed the plans.

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