The Budget also committed to funding a review by the Law Commission into simplifying the rules around marriage ceremonies in England and Wales and propose options for a simpler and fairer system to give couples greater choice and reduce prices in a notoriously expensive market. It will look at reducing unnecessary red tape supporting small and medium-sized businesses in the hospitality sector, like hotels and pubs, to host weddings and boost their income.Notes to editors I am pleased that the Treasury has given us this extra £52 million which will help address the acute problems facing our prisons and begin to improve the conditions of some of our courts. We have also secured a cash boost for the Parole Board to support its operations, especially the extra work associated with our transparency reforms. The Treasury will also fund the cost of building a new prison at Glen Parva in Leicestershire. This significant investment will allow us to get started on construction sooner since planning permission was granted in the summer.The new Glen Parva will accommodate around 1,680 prisoners which, along with an equivalently-sized new prison at Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, is an important step towards delivering on our commitment to building up to 10,000 decent new prison places.An extra £30 million will be spent on prisons this financial year on top of the £40 million we announced over the summer. The money will go towards further improvements to safety, security and decency on top of those already announced such as the roll-out of body scanners and phone-blocking technology.There is also a further £15 million to spend this year on the maintenance and security of our court buildings. Spending more this year in our courts will ensure that our ageing estate remains fit for the 21st century as we invest £1 billion in modernising services and moving more online making them easier to use, more efficient and saving taxpayers’ money.Another £6.5 million will be invested across the wider justice system, including a further £1.5 million for the Parole Board to boost its operational capacity.Commenting on the Budget, the Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke said: The Treasury have committed to providing the capital funding to build the new prison at Glen Parva. While we cannot comment at this stage on the anticipated cost, the newest prison in the estate, HMP Berwyn in North Wales, cost £250 million when it was built in 2015/16. The Ministry’s Spending Review 2015 settlement set the department on a course to reduce spend by 11% between 2015/16 and 2019/20. The figures on the Ministry of Justice from yesterday’s announcement of next year’s settlement are not new. We are continuing to engage with HM Treasury on ensuring that the justice system has sufficient funding in both the short and medium term, ahead of the Spending Review in 2019. The department continues to work to ensure that the department’s finances are set on a long term sustainable footing. This budget means that since July, we are directing an additional £70 million to tackling drugs and violence, and improving the basic conditions of our prisons. Treasury’s commitment to funding a new prison at Glen Parva is an important step to getting this built as soon as possible and will ease the pressure on our prisons.
Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona for Manchester City is possible, according to Cote d’Ivoire legend, Yaya Toure, but the former Blues and Blaugrana star admits that any deal for the Argentine this summer will be “complicated”. The exit door is said to have been swung open at Camp Nou by the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. The struggles endured by Barca in the 2019-20 campaign are reported to have Messi mulling over his options. He has entered the final 12 months of his current contract, with extension talks having been put on hold as the Liga giants attempt to address serious issues on and off the field. Club legend Ronald Koeman has been drafted in as the club’s new boss, with the Dutchman having held talks with Messi in an effort to discover where his talismanic captain stands. It could be that the all-time great decides to sever ties with the only team that he has represented in his senior career to date. Few sides could afford to put a transfer in place if Barca were to be forced into opening themselves up to offers, but Premier League heavyweights City would fall into that category. Toure believes those at the Etihad Stadium could explore a stunning swoop, especially with Pep Guardiola in their dugout, but the Ivorian concedes that any discussions will be difficult. The City legend told the Daily Star: “It is going to be complicated. “From what I know, Messi loves Barcelona. He loves the city, he loves the club, he loves the philosophy there. “But if he had to leave the club, maybe he could come to City. Why? Because City have the money to buy him and there are only a few clubs in the Premier League who can afford him, to be honest “If he comes to City he is going to be good for City because the rest of the Premier League is quite intense and hard as well. “The way Messi plays, few managers are going to love him because he just sits off to the side and does not want to defend much. “In England – depending on who is going to criticise him for that – they want you to work, defend and attack and it is not easy. read also:Messi sees no future at Barcelona “But if he came to England, I could see him playing for City because Guardiola knows him better and he could put him in this City team to play his football. “I have a little bit of doubt that he is going to leave Barcelona, to be honest. Barcelona all boils down to Messi. If Messi leaves there is going to be a massive gap.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Promoted Content2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearHere Are The Top 10 Tiniest Mobile Phones On The Planet!10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The WorldWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?A Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DaySome Impressive And Almost Shocking Robots That ExistTop 8 Best Looking US First Ladies EverThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market Value6 Amazing Shows From The 90s That Need A Reboot Right Now
Share Related Articles Submit Share StumbleUpon Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Industry strategic consultancy Regulus Partners kicks off the new year with a look at the use of VIPs by UK licence holders.UK: gambling regulation – online VIP reliance exposed?The Guardian newspaper has received information on the VIP concentration of some apparently leading GB licensees following a Freedom of Information request to the Gambling Commission.The expose has been quickly picked up and widely reported, largely with a view to demonstrating an industry reliance on VIPs and the vulnerability of VIPs to gambling related harm. Unsurprisingly, this is being used by some stakeholders (who typically already have a position) to call for tighter regulation of VIPs, call out the GB licensed sector as ‘bad business’ and drive the agenda for tougher regulation more generally.We have written regularly in the past that there are areas where we see tighter regulation as desirable and there can be no doubt that large elements of the sector have been nothing short of exploitative in certain instances (and sometimes endemically), especially before the tougher scrutiny and tougher rules of recent times. However, this backdrop should not trigger an open season on the sector and the findings of the ‘expose’ need to be set into context. We have three issues with the mainstream reporting of the data expose and how it is being position from a policy perspective – and one recommendation for the sector.First, while there are important discrepancies between the Guardian’s graph and the text commentary that open questions of data integrity, the average VIP concentration of the data provided (9 material operators, albeit one with a very small VIP cohort: likely a fairly representative concentration sample despite big differences in VIP definition) appears to be the top 3% of customers provide 34% of the deposits, with the top 5% generating 60-80% in two instances (the 2% – 83% ratio reported looks a little suspect to us, especially if it is a very big operator, and this split is not reflected in the graph). Even if we factored in the suspect outlier, this would move the unweighted average to 2% of customers generating 34% of deposits.At face value this is a very high deposit (reasonable proxy for revenue) concentration. But is it really, and can we really say that it shows a reliance on VIPs? In the UK, the top 3% of earners represent 12.5% of total earned income (ONS), so a 34% concentration looks higher than that. However, with higher earnings comes exponentially higher disposable income – which the UK’s progressive Income Tax policy is designed to mirror. While figures for the top 3% are not available, the top 1% of Income Tax payers provide 28% of receipts while the top 5% generate 49%. The VIP data is therefore pretty much exactly in line with UK Income Tax distribution.Indeed, if it were not, a case could (and no doubt would) be made that the industry was exploiting the poor… It is also worth considering the number of customers who will have only one or two bets per year (e.g. the Grand National or England in an International football match, or tempted by just one offer) skewing the total number of actives vs. the regular players that make up every operator’s core (and not just in gambling – this is fairly normal for business generally). This issue is not therefore the bald percentages of revenue concentration, however shocking they may look to anyone not familiar with basic concepts of wealth inequality or user concentrations, but whether VIPs can afford their expenditure (i.e. they are from sustainably wealthier cohorts and are not foregoing basic needs): this is an important need for protection but not one that the data is in a position to illustrate at all.Equally, banning VIP schemes would not necessarily reduce this expenditure if it is sustainable, but it may encourage players who like to be treated like VIPs to seek illegal (unrestricted) supply. Undoubtedly, there is a strong logic for regulating affordability and ensuring that loyalty/expenditure is rewarded rather than exploited – betting than the GB regulatory framework does now (the Guardian’s point that seven in ten regulatory penalties have VIP status as a factor is a fair and apposite one) – but this is very different to ‘ban’.There is no data on affordability provided (though it is, rightly, becoming an increasing area of focus for the regulator and industry), but the proxy for harm is the Problem Gambling score. Here, it is reported that of the VIPs which have taken the test (a small sample), 8% are problem gamblers ‘”11 times the rate among the wider public”. Since VIPs are gamblers (by default), comparisons with the ‘wider public’ are pretty meaningless when considering the additional harm that being a VIP might entail vs. being an ordinary remote gambler. Here, overall scores are 3.7% for sports (with a very long tail of occasional use due to the skew of big sporting events) and 8.5% for casino (with more concentrated play). Given that VIPs are (very) likely to fit into the regular player category, the casino benchmark would be the most sensible proxy regardless of product and here VIPs are bang in line with overall averages. Is this figure too high? Almost certainly; but does VIP status suggest an increased risk of harm? – not on the evidence provided when properly analysed (again, this is also dangerous – some VIP schemes almost certainly have been or are inappropriate in the nature of their inducements, but these issues get shown up and dealt with through granular analysis, not sweeping statistics – policy should be the same, in our view).Finally, this data is not collected through Annual Assurance Statements and while the Gambling Commission, as a public body, is bound by FOI requirements, many operators are likely to be wondering how the Guardian knew to ask for this ‘secret report’ after providing sensitive data. Equally, a one-newspaper expose is bound to have the mixture of sensationalism, selective disclosure (deliberately or just editorially) and data discrepancies we can see here. Such exposes are a great way to shape popular opinion and the opinions of lawmakers or other stakeholders who prefer to grandstand on perceived issues rather than to understand and seek to solve real ones. Whatever the source and motives of the directed fire, the result was very predictably ill considered sensationalism and much bandwagon jumping – not conducive to the kind of debate Britain needs to shape its review of current gambling legislation, but very helpful to those with a pre-conceived view.Our recommendation to the industry is simple. The gambling industry has historically been very poor at understanding and explaining its own data other than within the narrow operational context of product, marketing and retention. Every board member who has not previously asked about revenue concentrations, affordability and the suitability of VIP schemes should probably feel a little embarrassed. Every executive who cannot explain the revenue concentrations or specific business practices they shed light on in a measured and convincing way, knowing that harm is being mitigated as much as possible, should be more than a little embarrassed. These figures only have the power to shock if they make the industry look guilty and historically the industry has tended to look as guilty as a Christmas puppy sitting next to a mess on the carpet at practically every disclosure. Until the industry can own its data and harm-mitigation reality – which means really understanding and facing up to the issues which offering gambling products can cause (not sitting in an operational bunker and/or relying on PR), sensationalist press exposes will land policy blows – however, half-baked they may be. Winning Post: UK gambling feels the ‘Noyes’ with SMF report August 10, 2020 Winning Post: Third time’s the charm for England’s casinos August 17, 2020