Don’t bet on new casinos or more high stakes gambling machines
Published: Friday 3rd August 18
Licensing councillors have signalled they want to stick with their long standing policy of opposing casinos in the borough of Wandsworth.
And they want to ensure they continue to have the public’s backing as they seek to prevent an over proliferation of both betting shops and high-stakes “one armed bandits” in town centres.
Councillors are saying no to casinos
The council is set to launch a fresh round of public consultation as part of the legal requirement to update its policy on gambling.
Under the terms of the Gambling Act 2005, local authorities are required to review their policy every three years. The last review was in 2015.
Wandsworth has always said that the borough's predominantly residential nature makes it the wrong place for casinos and has long opposed the spread of betting shops and the fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) they often feature.
These high stakes betting machines have always been viewed as particularly dangerous because they allow people to wager - and potentially lose – hundreds of pounds a minute – although the Government did announce earlier this year they were planning to drastically reduce the maximum stake allowed per spin.
Licensing chairman Cllr Guy Humphries said: “As part of our review we will soon be asking residents, businesses, interest groups, faith organisations and other public agencies what kind of policy they would favour and whether or not the existing policy should be changed.
“Our view is that casinos are not welcome and that any proliferation of betting shops should be resisted.
“It is a legal requirement that we review and update this policy every three years. The current one expires in January so we must now start to consider this important issue once again.”
Councillors on the licensing committee endorsed the “no-change” policy a their meeting on Monday.
The public consultation will be held in the autumn.