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Can it be true that betting shops ..

(12 Posts)
Riverwalk Mon 07-Apr-14 08:38:34

... account for 9% of high street floorspace? Up from 4% in 2008.

I've posted a few times about those high-speed betting machines that rake in billions because I continue to be staggered by the amount of money spent on gambling.

Riverwalk Mon 07-Apr-14 08:40:23


Sorry, here's the link

glammanana Mon 07-Apr-14 08:46:36

I'm sure it must be true Riverwalk in our nearest shopping centre there are 6 shops all within walking distance of each other and a few in the surrounding area mostly next to pubs which have a lot of business during the day,I wonder where the money comes from as they always have customers.

Riverwalk Mon 07-Apr-14 09:19:57

I like the odd flutter myself and can understand the social aspect of spending a few hours in the bookies studying the horses, but 9% of the highstreet?

I see the government is intending to tighten-up the 'code of conduct' - unless something is legally-enforced codes of conduct are routinely ignored.

MiceElf Mon 07-Apr-14 09:50:58

Very true Riverwalk. The other two issues are that local councils have no power to prevent more and more betting shops installing themselves in the high streets of localities which, for the most part, are 'economically disadvantaged'. And secondly these huge chains such as Paddy Power have bottomless funds to hire the best (slipperiest) lawyers to get round any and every objection.

In addition to that if you walk round one of these localities you find that next to the betting shops are money shops offering loans at high interest rates, a few pawn shops, the odd £shop and charity shops. The high streets in so many towns and localities are completely blighted.

I bet you don't find any of these in Chipping Norton or Kensington.

Grannyknot Mon 07-Apr-14 09:55:48

Betting shops give me the heebie jeebies and we have two on our high street. They give me the heeb-jeebs because mostly the people I see in there look like they can't really afford to be in there.

We had a "what is your prudery" thread - well, if we had a "what is your snobbery" thread, I'd put betting shops on there.

gillybob Mon 07-Apr-14 10:37:56

Me too Grannyknot In our small town the high street has more than it's fair share of betting shops and we recently had two very old pubs close (both of which were in beautifully ornate buildings) and both have been taken over by betting shops. I was told by the local council that they have no control over the shops/buildings as they are privately owned but I am sure the council have the right to refuse the change of use planning permission. I agree Grannyknot that the people who are often in these places are the very least likely to be able to afford it. My son and DiL live on a large council estate and the butchers shop recently closed only to be replaced by a betting shop which I find disgusting. I am sure the local authority would have powers to stop this from happening. angry

Riverwalk Mon 07-Apr-14 10:53:52

The problem for the councils gilly is they are up against big business with deep pockets who will challenge any planning decision that goes against them.

A local pub applied for permission to have late nights and won on appeal - the council have only their in-house lawyers but the pub, part of a small trendy chain, turned up with two QCs to argue their case.

Seems that the councils have to back down otherwise it would get very expensive and they'd be seen as not spending tax-payers money wisely.

MiceElf Mon 07-Apr-14 11:52:05

Sadly councils have almost no powers to prevent the spread of betting shops.

janerowena Mon 07-Apr-14 14:48:12

That link didn't work for me, miceelf.

I hadn't thought of it before, but yes, I have noticed it in my nearest small town. As shops have closed, the betting shops have moved in. I hate any form of gambling, so it has worried me. Along with Wetherspoons buying up all the prettiest locations in towns. The betting shops worry me more. Strangely, I have never seen anyone go into them. Maybe they are frequented by particularly furtive sneaky people in my area.

Many years ago, I lived in a village that had a pub, a butcher's and a betting shop. I couldn't understand why we had a betting shop until the butcher died. I had often seen him running in there when there was a lull - he was very popular, his meat was legendary - and running back to face all of us queueing and waiting for him.

In his obituary it all came out - he owned the betting shop and had opened it to make it easier for him to place his bets!

gillybob Mon 07-Apr-14 14:53:02

I wonder if the local authorities couldn't care less who pays the rent/rates on a shop as long as someone does. They are probably not interested in the implications of where the shops are located.

There must be something about butchers and bookies janerowena smile

absent Mon 07-Apr-14 20:56:51

Surely any government that holds a weekly (twice weekly?) lottery, where the odds against winning are phenomenal, is clearly pro-gambling.