Monday, 17 January 2011

Petition against proliferation of betting shops

The 2005 Gambling Act gives local authorities very limited powers to refuse Gambling Licenses and Planning Permission to large betting chains. When councils and local communities try to prevent new betting shops opening, companies appeal at great cost to the local authority – at a time when cuts to their funding make this impossible. The industry is prepared to bankrupt councils to get an even greater hold on our high streets.

Bookmakers are currently targeting the poorer areas in our cities and towns. In some cases there are as many as 12 or 13 in one street. In mad competition with each other, they bid for any freeholds available in the certain knowledge they will be granted licenses. Often they are clustered together and are the cause of antisocial behaviour and theft, making parts of a street a no-go area. They take advantage of people in desperate financial circumstances and are encouraging gambling addiction in those who can least afford it, threatening the futures of our communities' children.

We are calling on the government to change the Act and give local communities a greater say over their high streets. There should be a separate planning class for betting shops to give councils and residents the power to determine their location and overall numbers. Presently councils cannot deny an application on the basis of the number already open in their area.

This isn't anti-betting, it's about communities being able to have a say about their environments.


We, the undersigned, call on Parliament to amend the Gambling Act 2005, to give local authorities greater powers to refuse Gambling Licenses and Planning Permission to betting companies.

We demand a separate planning class for betting shops that gives councils and residents the power to determine their location and overall numbers.

Sign it here.

8 comments:

Chris said...

Thanks for this DD, I've just signed it and asked several of my friends to do the same. Too late for the John Evelyn, Deptford Arms and most probably the Halifax too but let's hope that this will lead to changes, fingers crossed!

keith said...

done! thanks a lot for posting the link

Benastrada: said...

Thanks for the link! I've signed and will pass on...

Anonymous said...

I have heard a rumor from some shopkeepers that another betting shop has applied to open at the site of the old job centre near to Deptford station. I really hope that this is not true.

Maltina said...

Thanks for that link. As a student, I used to work in a bookies, and what I saw whilst working really opened my eyes.

They have an even worse human effect than one might think.

Anonymous said...

How many other areas are dealing with the problem of a plague of betting shops???

Anonymous said...

"Bookmakers are currently targeting the poorer areas in our cities and towns."
"are the cause of antisocial behaviour and theft, making parts of a street a no-go area."

Should really be careful posting things like above that you have no evidence of such. These are obviously your opinions, but to write as though they are facts is unwise and most misleading.
Also, please advise where the streets are with "12 or 13" shops are.
No doubt your moral army will get the planning laws changed, but I wouldnt bet on it...

Deptford dame said...

@anon there is plenty of information/evidence on this blog and the others I link to in my various posts on this subject (just look for those posts tagged 'betting shops'). I generally research my blog posts very thoroughly before writing them as I don't believe there is any value in making unsubstantiated claims.