Anti-gambling campaigners claim extending working hours for betting shops would encourage crime.
Newham Council refused to extend the licensing hours of Betfred Bookmakers, suspecting the company wanted to benefit more from fixed-odd betting terminals (FOBTs). Under British gambling laws, Betfred’s shop can stay open until 10 pm, which allows players plenty of time to bet on horse racing and other sports.
The company asked for opening hours to be extended to 11 pm, but later withdrew its application after local lawmakers suspected the main benefit of this change would be allowing FOBTs to operate for an extra hour.
A victory for anti-gambling campaigners
Betfred is a popular choice for player looking to bet on sports in the UK, with shops located on high Street North and Plashet Grove, but with the latest scandals surrounding FOBTs representatives of the local council wanted to make sure their decision will not add fuel to the fire.
Anti-FOBT campaigners consider betting machines to be the “crack cocaine of gambling”, due to their addictive nature. Players can lose up to BGP 100 every 20 seconds by playing these machines and current regulations are vague, so they’ve started to spread uncontrollably across the country.
Letters were sent to the Newham Council, saying extending the hours of betting shops would only encourage crime and disorder. Betfred was given a chance to counter these affirmations, but the company preferred to withdraw its application.