Paddy Power vs. Newham Council
The battle between Paddy Power and Newham Council seems set to drag on a little longer. They are currently in court as the Irish betting giant looks to force though its controversial plans for a new betting shop in the East London area.
The main issues which objectors have put forward are that there are already 81 betting shops in the borough of Newham, that these shops rely too much upon gaming machines to rake in cash and that they are focal points for anti social behaviour such as robberies.
Appearing in court is Stephen Timms, who is the MP for East Ham. He said that when there are a number of betting shops clustered together they “destroy people’s lives”. He went on to say that the big gambling chains seem to have “entirely lost” their sense of responsibility towards their customers. He also pointed out a Paddy Power shop manager had told him that losing gamblers get frustrated and try to “smash up” the machines they play on.
Fears of More Crime
The place where Paddy Power wants to locate its newest premises is in 297 Green Street, Upton Park. The fact that the local licensing subcommittee refused to approve the permit has led to the current week long court battle. The council based their initial rejection on the grounds of the theory that a lot of betting shops which are close together turns an area into a crime blackspot.
The addition of the Paddy Power shop would make Newham second in the list of London borough with most betting shops, with only Westminster having more.
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