UK government deny claims of tax deals with US investors
By abigail
In the UK the fallout after the release of the governmentís planned changes to gambling laws continues. The latest development is accusations leveled at Tony Blairís party, that they have struck deals with potential US investors regarding promised tax cuts. Led by press speculation, the latest idea of private negotiations with US companies is the most recent attack on the planned changes. The government was immediate in its denial of the charges, with spokespeople from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport denouncing the idea.

Tony Blair further continued the denial at a press conference held yesterday, addressing this line of questioning and other concerns expressed. He estimated that the number of supercasinos likely to be developed should range between 20 to 40, a relatively small number in comparison to the 120 casinos already existing in the UK. He also emphasized the concentration of the regulations on removing gambling machines from venues accessible by minors in his attempt to defend the bill.

Addressing concerns over an increase in gambling problems, Blair pointed to the fact that there was no model in the world to suggest that instances of gambling addictions rise with the number of casinos present in a nation. Further attention of the tax cut issue was given by other representatives from the government, including Tessa Jowell, who stated that the new bill had no motivation in terms of raising tax revenue, instead was a means of better regulating the gambling industry as a whole.

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