Even though British gambling laws are very permissive about casinos, not everyone is happy to see them in their neighborhood.
Only yesterday protestors met with council members in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, calling on their representatives to impose a ban on all new casinos and betting shops.
The demand is supported by many councilors, who feel that the casinos do more harm than good to the local community. Still, a public consultation process must take place before any ban may be voted into force.
London’s historic East End area is located within the borough and already hosts several such venues. Even though many gamblers already play at online casinos in the UK instead of visiting an actual casino, the East End’s brick-and-mortar gambling establishments still generate around GBP 400 million in revenues each year.
The protesters and many councilors believe that this level of gambling also fosters drug crimes and other criminal activity in the area.
“We are worried about the level of crime gambling creates. We urge the council to prevent casinos being established—we’re concerned at the number of betting shops and adult amusement arcades opening up and their impact on children and vulnerable adults,” explained one of the protesters.
Even if such a ban were to pass it would not affect the existing casinos, so no one expects that all of the slots and blackjack gambling in Tower Hamlets would suddenly shift to the online and mobile casinos.