Diane tells bookies: 'Stop gambling with Hackney's future'

25 Mar 2010

Diane  is calling on Hackney residents to fight an application which would see nine betting shops opened on the same street.

An application from Paddy Power bookmakers has been submitted to Hackney Council for 339 Mare Street and if accepted, would see nine betting shops on Hackney’s main thoroughfare.

Another application by Paddy Power for shop in Stoke Newington High Street was accepted earlier this year. William Hill has also submitted an application to open a betting shop on Lower Clapton Road.

Currently, Hackney Council has limited power to turn down applications, especially in buildings once occupied by banks and estate agents which do not need planning permission.

Diane has written to minsters to urge that councils can be given more power to overturn licences by tightening up the Gambling Act 2005, and has tabled an EDM to highlight how inner city deprived boroughs are especially targeted by the gambling industry.

Hackney currently has 69 betting shops which is three times the national average.

Diane said:

“Applications like this are turning Hackney into a mini Las Vegas. I and the people of Hackney do not want the future of our borough to be gambled away like this. Hackney has high levels of unemployment and poverty and betting shops are a temptation to make money quick. They also attract crime and anti-social behaviour to surrounding areas without offering any benefit in return. The government and local councils need to act together to stop our high streets being dominated by the gambling industry before it is too late.”

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