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  #1  
Old 17th October 2010
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Arrow Casino Gaming in Great Britain: 1960 - 2010

It's hard to believe but legalised casino gambling in Britain is shortly approaching it's 50th year. But, just like an ageing dame of the silver screen it's actual birth date appears to be open to some speculation.

I'm not go into too much depth in this thread with commentary on the effects or moralising on the issues what I'm simply going to do is present the information and selected quotes, events, images, video and links. I hope you'll find it of interest.

There are four main pieces of Government legislation that have formed and shaped the business and if you, like your's trully, were gainfully employed in casinos in Britain over the last 50 year's then each will have affected your life to some degree.


They are...

The Betting and Gaming Act, 1960.
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/a...aming-act-1960

The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1963.
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatut..._19630002_en_1

The Gaming Act, 1968.
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatut..._19680065_en_1

and in the modern era
The Gambling Act, 2005.
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatut..._20050019_en_1




A general overview at Wikipedia.
Gambling in the United Kingdom
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamblin...United_Kingdom



Let's go straight back to 1960.


NEWS OF THE DAY "REVIEW OF THE YEAR"
http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=68250 - dramatic stuff !


The BBC reported on the 1st September of that year about the passing of the Betting and Gaming Act and that Betting Shops (Turf Accountant's) will be legal from 1st May, 1961.

1960: Game on for British betting shops
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/d...00/2969846.stm
"The government has given the go-ahead for betting shops to open for business from 1 May next year. The move follows the introduction of the new Betting and Gaming Act. and from 1 January 1961 gambling for small sums will be legal for games of skill such as bridge."


In the 50's Briton's were increasingly visiting casinos abroad despite the fact that after the War there were significant restrictions on taking currency overseas - just 5 in notes.

(GOING ABROAD TRAILER) video newsreel film
http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=51515
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  #2  
Old 17th October 2010
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Britain's first casino

Were there any casinos in Britain pre 1960 ?

John Aspinall had his famous floating Chemin de Fer games in the late 50's but this is how the Rev. Gordon Moody summed up the situation in his 1959 report for The Churches' Committee on Gambling.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_As...28zoo_owner%29
"During the year 1959 there were the usual murmuring about Casinos-more about their advantages than about their disadvantages. Suggestions to establish casinos were made in Jersey, the Isle of Man and, apparently first for the year among the English resorts, Southsea, as part of a five-point campaign for increasing the tourist trade."


So the answer is probably no - at least not in England.


Check out this earlier forum thread for a few clues

Brighton June 1962 - Britain's first Casino ?
http://www.gamingfloor.biz/forum/showthread.php?t=3446



This photo from The Scotsman is dated September 1958.
http://www.europeana.eu/portal/recor...0B0B9AB2B.html

January 1959 also in Scotland
New Grafton Gambling Club - 16 Home Street - First game of Roulette
http://www.europeana.eu/portal/recor...3A02026C6.html
Sorry the images have vanished - Ian


If that's 16 Home Street, Edinburgh - then it's now appears to be the home of The Liquorice Club
http://www.liquorice-club.co.uk
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nearthecastle/706153069/





Who say's history is boring


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  #3  
Old 8th February 2011
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British Casino Listings 1985 & 1990

Digging through my files today I thought it was time that these documents were posted online. Copyright is I suppose will still be with the BCA but as most of you will know they morphed into the National Casino Industry Forum 2 or 3 years ago.

I asked for the lists at the time as part of my job seeking strategy. It's a lot easier now of course - one can just check on the web. Back in the 80's you were lucky if you could find a text listing in the phone book.


http://www.nci-forum.co.uk/
http://www.britishcasinoassociation.org.uk


1985 BCA Provincial Casino List
http://www.gamingfloor.com/Britain/B...noList1985.pdf

January 1990 BCA London Casino List
http://www.gamingfloor.com/Britain/B...istJan1990.pdf

January 1990 BCA Provincial Casino List
http://www.gamingfloor.com/Britain/B...istJan1990.pdf



and a couple of documents listed or available on the National Archives website and @ at Amazon.co.uk



1978 - publication
Royal Commission on Gambling: Final Report (Command Paper) [Paperback]
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Royal-Commis.../dp/0101720009
# ISBN-10: 0101720009
# ISBN-13: 978-0101720007


1998
CASINO DEREGULATION - CONSULTATION ON RELAXATION OF CONTROLS ON MEMBERSHIP, ADVERTISING AND JACKPOT MACHINES
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/E.../ccpd/cas1.htm
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk



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Old 10th February 2011
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as posted on the 1962 thread

Two interesting videos at ITNSource.com


Chemmy on the Thames

8th January, 1962
CHEMIN-DER-FER CASINO
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//I...08/FS080162005


...and in 1966 mysterious events at the Victoria Sporting Club which even at that early date had already become perhaps Britain's busiest casino operation.


ITN Reporting 66: family threatened over opposition to Victoria Sporting Club's music license
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//B...2/09/X09026602
Circa 14 minutes long. It leaves the best till last.


7th December, 2012.
SORRY FOLKS ALL THE LINKS ABOVE HAVE DISAPPEARED

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  #5  
Old 10th February 2011
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fascinating ITN clip Ian could not get any sound on the first clip but it was fine on the second one,to think of the history of that place in which has stood on the same corner of the Edgware Road all of those years til now
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  #6  
Old 11th February 2011
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Arrow Additional threads of interest...

4 or 5 video clips from British Pathe with casino related content.

British Pathe casino footage 60's & 70's
http://www.gamingfloor.biz/forum/showthread.php?t=3447


Training to be a Croupier - 1960's London
http://www.gamingfloor.biz/forum/showthread.php?t=2561

As in the mid 60's right through to the late 80's hundreds (maybe even 1,000's !) of British trained staff headed off to the Bahamas the following document from 1967 is also significant.


Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Operation of the Business of Casinos in Freeport and in Nassau
https://dspace.ucalgary.ca/bitstream/1880/528/1/adg.pdf


Life magazine also had an extensive report on Gambling in the Bahamas in January 1967.

The Scandal in the Bahamas - 3 Feb 1967 - Page 58
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=b...ahamas&f=false


It was followed up a few weeks later with an article in the Saturday Evening Post
Gambling in the Bahamas - The Mafia at Work


Gambling in the Bahamas - 1967 Magazine covers



The casino industry is never dull is it - or at least it didn't used to be


Ian
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Old 12th February 2011
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Thumbs up Training to be a Playboy Bunny

OK, another cracking film from the 60's at ITN Source. Interviews with Hugh Hefner in Chicago and Victor Lownes in London.


ITN Reporting 66: British bunny girls being trained in Playboy club / Hugh Hefner interview
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist/BH.../02/X02026602/


$5,000 for being a centerfold in 1966 - Hefner certainly paid well !


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Old 12th February 2011
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Arrow Playboy's casino license on the line - 1981

Victor Lownes sacked - 15.4.81

PLAYBOY: LOWNES:
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//I...15/AS150481004



Start of the court case - 14.9.81

PLAYBOY CLUBS
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//I...14/AS140981030



Playboy not fit and proper - 5.10.81

PLAYBOY CLUB
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//I...05/AS051081004


More detailed version of the above - originally shown on News at 10

PLAYBOY CLUB
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//I...05/AS051081016




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Old 13th February 2011
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Some names from the past...

Knightsbridge Sporting Club

3.3.81
GAMING CLUB RAID:
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//I...03/AS030381004


Brent Walker

2.6.94
GEORGE WALKER THEFT CASE:
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//I...2/BSP020694017
24.10.94
GEORGE WALKER ACQUITTAL:
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//I...4/BSP241094029


Pleasurama

12.8.88
PLEASURAMA:
http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//I...12/AS120888037


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Old 29th March 2011
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Arrow George Walker

George Walker died of a heart attack in the South of France on the 22nd March, 2011.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Alfred_Walker


The Daily Telegraph & Independent have his obituary.


Obituary - George Walker
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obit...ge-Walker.html


George Walker: Amateur boxing champion who went into business and made millions building the Brent Cross shopping centre
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/ob...e-2253406.html


East End boxer-cum-businessman George Walker dies aged 81
http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.u...ed_81_1_843249


An amazing life.


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Old 21st April 2011
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Lightbulb Golden Nugget 1960's Ad.

This image is presently to be found on the staircase leading to the Golden Nuggets gaming floor. It's from the World Cup year 1966 and perhaps originally appeared in an inflight magazine.

Golden Nugget - 1960's Ad.
Roulette, Blackjack, Dice, Chuckaluck (Minimum stake 1/-)




It's interesting that although the club has had several refurbishments over the years the logo has been retained. A nice touch IMHO.

http://www.goldennuggetlondon.com


Also when I visited in late 2009 I commented on this forum about the shabby nature of the gaming staff's uniform at the venue.
"The most noticeable thing about the Nugget visit was the scruffy appearance of the Crimson polo shirts supplied to the gaming staff. Dreadful. Come on LCI you can surely do much better than that."

I'm pleased to say that tatty short sleeved polo shirts have now been replaced with more traditional black long sleeved cotton mix shirts. Much, much smarter. When it comes to choosing staff uniforms skimping on costs and trying to save money can itself be a costly decision.


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  #12  
Old 14th April 2013
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Lightbulb Top Rank Bingo

Following the enactment of the Betting and Gaming Act 1960 it wasn't just Betting Offices (Turf Accountants as they were then usually known) and Casinos that began to open. Bingo Halls sprang up across the country in Cinema's, Church Halls & Community Centre's.

Below are two images of the Colindale Odeon on Edgeware Road, London in 1960 and 61.


Odeon, The, Colindale
http://www.flickr.com/photos/memorie...on/8640077264/

Odeon, The, Colindale



Colindale Bingo
http://www.flickr.com/photos/memorie...on/8641721105/

Colindale Bingo outside



It's presently a Snooker and Pool club
www.hurricaneroom.co.uk/colindale/index.shtml
287 Edgware Road
London NW9 6NB
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  #13  
Old 9th June 2013
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Lightbulb The 1967 Queens Speech

As has already been mentioned gaming clubs started to first open in London from around 1962. I've contributed to a thread on Gambling Licencing Advice about an ITN interview with Leo Ponte the owner of the River Club filmed in January of that year.

http://blog.gamblinglicensingadvice....n-london-1962/

For those interested in press images taken at the time check out ebay where keyword searches should reveal several.




By the mid-sixties the size of the industry had attracted interest from across the pond hence the installation of George Raft at the Colony Club and junkets arriving regularly at the Victoria Sporting Club. Protection of course had to be paid and Kray associate Albert Donohue has remarked in interviews that the Colony alone was at one time ponying up 3,000 a month.

The public were becoming alarmed and the Labour Government felt action was necessary. In October 1967 this sentence was part of the Queen's speech at the Opening of Parliament.

Legislation will be introduced to reform the law on gaming.
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/c.../queens-speech

That single line ended up with the passing of the 1968 Gambling Act.


This syndicated article from the UPI gives a pretty good impression of the state of the business at the time.

1967 British Gambling Crackdown
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gamingfloor/8993908791/
UPI/Sarasota Herald-Tribune - November 19, 1967

1967 British Gambling Crackdown



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