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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
New law leads to boom for casinos
Roulette table and chips
You can now visit a UK casino without joining in advance
The UK's largest casino operator says punters are streaming into its venues following the liberalisation of the nation's gambling laws.

Stanley Leisure has seen a rapid growth in attendance since a rule demanding gamblers be a member of a casino for 24 hours before attending was abolished.

The change, part of the Gambling Act, came into force on 1st October 2005.

In the six months to the end of April, Stanley said, there has been a 17.2% like-for-like rise in visits.

The firm said in its Scottish outlets, attendance had remained "strong" since the introduction of the smoking ban on 26th March, but admitted it was too early to predict the long term effect of that law change.

Last week Rank Leisure reported that three weeks into the ban, entries to its Mecca Bingo halls in Scotland had fallen.

Stanley, which has four casinos in central London and 40 elsewhere in the country, sold its retail betting shop business to William Hill last year for 504m.

In an update ahead of final results, the Liverpool-based firm said it had traded in line with expectations for the year to the end of April.


SEE ALSO:
Smoking ban crimps Rank profits
26 Apr 06 |  Business
Online gaming firms bet on tie-up
17 Oct 05 |  Business
Punter wins hit Stanley profits
18 Jul 05 |  Business
William Hill buys Stanley shops
16 May 05 |  Business


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