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.

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Recent comments

The Council is absolutely correct & should reinforce & stick with their policy of opposing casinos, betting shops & 'one armed bandits'.
James Marsh

6 August 2018

There is a difference between casinos and betting shops. I see the majority here naming casino's and betting shops in the same breath. Before you make any comments, please know what you're talking about. I would support a ban on opening further betting shops and I support removing FOTB's completely. There are no actual casinos in Wandsworth. For these I need to go into town. They provide entertainment, just like a theatre, bar, pub, cinema. I would very much welcome such an establishment, where I could play some poker, go for a nice meal, have some drinks, unwind. I strongly advocate protecting the vulnerable in society. Banning casinos is NOT the way to do this, just as we will not close bars because people have alcohol problems.

5 August 2018

Mine is a minority view probably, but I think casinos should be allowed in the Borough. They're just another source of enjoyment alongside all of the pubs, bars, nightclubs and restaurants we already have in the Borough. I have no issue in limiting betting shops and FOBTs, which i think are quite different to casinos.
Paul A

5 August 2018

I am also against casinos and going further and banning all betting shops too. It won't stop people betting as much of it is done online nowadays but giving them a shopfront affords them a legitimacy when they are an evil in society and don't provide any benefit.

5 August 2018

It is my view that casinos are not welcome and that any proliferation of betting shops should be resisted. Personally I would favour a ban on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
Clare Dixon

5 August 2018

I would very much approve to ban all these cowboy outlets, they are a scourge in this society, many families have suffered sever hardship because of the addiction of throwing household money into the hands of very rich gambling joints.
John J

4 August 2018

Wholly support the proposal NOT to have casinos in Wandsworth and approve of the policy of NO more betting shops. We are supposed to be a responsible community which supports those out of work, getting people back to work and those in difficult financial circumstances; lets help them by banning gambling or at lest keeping it to a minimum.

3 August 2018

Yes, No casinos in Wandworth. Keep the ban. Even better, ban betting shops too. They are a blight on our high streets, and suck cash from the poorest in our community.
Karel Kretzschmar

3 August 2018

The temptation of Casinos is so hard to resist when you have very little and often people lose rent or food money ,gambling on the hope that they can win and improve their lives. Many families are destroyed this way. Also young people try to make a quick but and get "hooked " on gambling. If the casinos weren't there it would be helping them to avoid these pitfalls. Please do carry out your plan to block them from our high streets.
Anna Corcoran

3 August 2018

Totally agree that casinos are not welcome in the borough. There are plenty of casinos/places to gamble in London so if people want to gamble most can easily go there.
Adam Fox

3 August 2018

Ban all of them.

3 August 2018