Southend: Concerns Over Number Of Betting Shops

Heart is being told more needs to be done to tackle the number of betting shops and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in Southend.

Councillor Julian Ware-Lane is calling for a motion to be passed by the Cabinet.

He looks after the Milton ward and says there are some deprived areas where people to find betting and gambling attractive.

He told Heart the feel of the High Street has changed with the increasing number of betting shops that have opened.

The new problem is Fixed Odds Betting Terminals or FOBT's which can extract huge amounts of money of people - up to £100 in 20 seconds.

Councillor Ware-Lane would like the council to have the power to approve betting shops like normal planning applications so thinks they should be in a new 'use class.'

He would like to see the stake reduced so machines cannnot extract such large amount of money from people.

Lastly he would like there to be a limit to the number of betting shops on the high street.

This will be discussed by Cabinet on Tuesday 18th March.

The Association of British Bookmakers says betting shops are well-regulated and socially responsible high street retailers.

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