Britain: The Floating Casino

This precious stone set in the silver sea, this realm, this England, is nothing more than a floating casino.

So said British Actor Wilfrid Hyde White recently, with a bow to the Bard and an eye to the gaming tables and betting shops that stretch the length and breadth of the sceptered isle. Britain is Europe's gamblingest nation, and legalized betting may be the country's largest industry. Britain's 16,000 betting shops, 1,200 casinos and 2,000 bingo clubs employ 100,000 people and account for an estimated yearly turnover of $5 billion. The government's slice is nearly $250 million.

Offshore Las Vegas. Leaner times...

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