Doubtful Prospects for New Small Casinos in UK

27 February 2008

A Financial Times article speculates that only a handful of the 16 small casinos approved by the British government may actually come into being.

A huge disincentive for casino operators is the 50 percent tax on high-roller clubs introduced by Prime Minister Brown last March. Genting and Harrah's have already suffered a beating on their investments after a relatively short time in the market, and Ladbrokes says it is no longer interested in any of the 16 licenses. Gala is busy considering the fate of its three already existing casinos and may be reluctant to take on anymore.

“The gambling industry is suffering from a high level of taxation,” Brigid Simmonds of the Business in Sport and Leisure consultancy told the FT. “With the consumer drop-off and the smoking ban as well, you have to wonder what the appetite is for building new casinos under the current tax regime.”

The FT article is online here