Councillors say enough is enough as third Caledonian Road betting shop plans come in
- Credit: Vickie Flores/Archant
Another high street betting shop could harm disadvantaged people, councillors have claimed.
Paddy Power has applied to take over an empty unit at 325 Caledonian Road.
It would be the third in this road, joining Ladbrokes at number 291 and William Hill at 312.
Caledonian ward Cllrs Paul Convery, Una O’Halloran and Rupert Perry have opposed the application, warning: “This just isn’t the place for another bookies.”
Cllr Convery said: “There’s nothing wrong with a flutter. But all the evidence shows betting shops don’t pop up in affluent areas.
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“They cluster in places where the least advantaged people live. There are already two close by and we believe this kind of clustering has adverse consequences.
“These shops are much more in the business of hardcore gambling: the fixed odd betting terminals. That’s where they make most of their money, rather than the much-loved tradition of a fiver on the horses. I think many people would rather see a ‘proper’ retail shop there.”
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In a statement, Paddy Power pointed out the unit, which was vacated by solicitors in December 2012, was a Ladbrokes betting shop for 15 years until 2001.
It added: “Where a customer indicates that they have lost control of their gambling, Paddy Power will offer help and advice.
“The training procedures require staff to notice certain behaviours which are indicative of individuals being problem gamblers.”
Paddy Power must get planning and licensing permissions from Islington Council. Committee dates are to be confirmed.