LGA representatives are creating special group to deal with the problematic issue of growing number of betting shops on high streets and the “damaging” impact they have.
LGA commented that major betting companies, which operate according to UK gambling laws, had agreed to participate in the discussions.
Additionally, LGA stressed on the fact that the “ineffective” licensing and some details in the law prevent it from having real power to control the rising number of new betting shops in locations, which are already over-crowded.
The first meeting of the special group will discuss different scenarios like the possibility of a national voluntary agreement between the local government and the betting shops, as well as transformation to the current legislation.
Tony Page, LGA’s spokesman on the license matters, commented on the gambling news: “The launch of this commission is a significant landmark for councils desperate to protect communities from the damage that can be caused to high streets from clustering and to residents from the harm of problem gambling.”
“Councils are not anti-bookies but are frustrated by the current licensing system which leaves them powerless to act on community concerns and limit the number of betting shops opening up in their areas.”
“There are real fears that they can drive already vulnerable people towards financial ruin and that people losing money through high-stake fixed odds betting terminals are turning to payday lenders and loan sharks to pay off debts or fund their gambling.”