Clocks will be one of Britain's weapons against problem gambling when it is employed to help gamblers keep track of time.
Clocks will be one of Britain's weapons against problem gambling when itliberalizesthe sector, allowing a new wave of large Las Vegas-style casinos across the country, the government said last Thursday.
Traditionally, casinos have avoided giving customers clues to how long they've been gambling,spurningclocks and often shutting out sunlight in the early hours of the morning.
But draft gambling rules Thursday set out measures to combat addiction and crime, including licenses for finance and managing directors, a ban on free drinks and measures to help gamblerskeep track of time.
"Casino and bingo operators must introduce measures to control continuous and repetitive play, such as designing sites and implementing procedures to encourage breaks in play and making customers aware of the time they have spent gambling," said the Gambling Commission.
A spokeswoman said the measures might include clocks on walls, timers and alerts on machines and breaks in play.
"Alcohol must not be used as an inducement to encourage people to gamble," added the Commission.
The new gambling acttakes full effectfrom September 2007 and will allow 17 new casinoson top ofthe current 140, one of them a giant supercasino.
The Commission estimated annual UK gambling turnover, including the lottery, at about 53 billion pounds .
Tessa Jowell, the minister in charge of gambling, said gambling should not be treated like any other industry.
"What can be a harmless pastime for one person can be a life-destroying addiction for another," she said.