"Super Casinos spell bad news for Lichfield or Burntwood" says Michael Fabricant" and I remain unconvinced it’s a good idea for larger conurbations like Birmingham either." Michael Fabricant who sat on the Culture Media & Sport select committee inquiry into casinos agrees that the laws on gambling need to be tidied up.
"But the Gambling Bill would allow 40 super casinos to be constructed in Britain according to Tony Blair last week. Or, put another way, that’s more casinos than traditional universities and two casinos for every city in the UK.
"The Gambling Bill will pave the way for a huge number of super-casinos in urban areas and a massive increase in the problem of gambling addiction. The Henley Centre study estimates that the number of ‘problem gamblers’ could double from 400,000 to 700,000 by 2010. That would be one gambling addict for every 80 people. That can’t be right and will put a huge strain on social services."
Michael adds: "We need a major rethink about how we want our city and town centres to be. I used to support all night unrestricted drinking for pubs and clubs. But I was wrong. Residents in Lichfield tell me that there is mayhem in the early hours as young drinkers return home sozzled on a Friday and Saturday night. And now the Government is planning to allow all night drinking licences throughout the week. Do they think these changes will be popular?
"We need better than this. And I will oppose the Gambling Bill in its present form."