Dispatches to expose betting obsession

A forthcoming Channel 4 current affairs programme is set to show how Britain could be gripped by a betting obsession.

The programme, presented by journalist Antony Barnett, will air on 30 January, coinciding with the Government’s announcement of Britain’s first super casino.

The documentary came about after Dispatches was looking for someone to front a programme on casinos at the time of the Dome decision Barnett told Press Gazette: ‘In 2005, I had written quite a bit about the lobbying campaign and there was a lot of information I had gained under the Freedom of Information Act. ‘I’d written about the ministers and officials going out to Las Vegas, so the opportunity to work for Dispatches came as perfect timing for me.’Barnett has been investigations editor at The Observer for the past 18 months, prior to which he was the paper’s senior investigative journalist, winning awards for revelations such as the Hinduja story, which led to Peter Mandelson’s resignation.

Barnett’s investigations reveal new information about New Labour’s attempts to bring a super casino to the Millennium Dome that raise fresh questions about the Government’s conduct.

For the first time, Dispatches will reveal the exact numbers of casinos that will begin appearing in towns and cities across Britain, all of them with more slot machines, bigger jackpots and the ability to advertise more freely.

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