[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 16:32 GMT
Ministers 'addicted to gambling'
Slot machine
The Lib Dems said regeneration should not involve more gambling
The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of being "addicted to gambling" after it was announced that Manchester will get a super-casino.

Culture spokesman Don Foster told the Commons that all parties wanted urban regeneration, but not "based on an increase in problem gambling".

Greater Manchester already had 11 smaller casinos, he added.

Mr Foster also said the gambling industry had to do more to help those with addiction problems.

The licence will allow Manchester to build a venue for up to 1,250 unlimited-jackpot gaming machines, with a further 16 towns and cities gaining licences for smaller casinos.

Everyone in this chamber wants much-needed regeneration but questions why this must be based on huge increases in problem gambling
Don Foster

Mr Foster said the drinks industry spent 200m a year tackling alcohol problems, while the gambling industry gave just 2.5m to the main body dealing with gambling addictions.

Manchester's bid organisers said it would regenerate a poor area in the east of the city, promising a 265m investment and 2,700 direct and indirect jobs.

Mr Foster said: "Everyone in this chamber wants much-needed regeneration but questions why this must be based on huge increases in problem gambling."

In 2005, the Lib Dems and Conservatives opposed plans to create several super-casinos across the UK, forcing the government to reduce the number to just one.

Mr Foster called on ministers to commit to "no further growth in gambling opportunities".


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
An artist's impression of the super-casino



RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific