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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

FULL marks to Newham council. They are appearing in court to defend their decision not to grant another gambling premises licence: on the grounds that Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are more about casino-type gaming and less about traditional betting.

It’s good to see at least one council prepared to take on the mighty gambling industry in an important test case. I wish Newham the best of luck. I'm sure other councils, less brave, will watch with interest.

Guardian story here.

Tags for Forum Posts: betting shops, fobts, gambling

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- the victims including the mothers, children and those mugged and burgled.

It's capitalism in its purest form.

It's capitalism in its purest form.

The last (New Labour) government was astonishingly laissez faire and tried to out-market out-private the Conservatives. Their Gambling Act is one of the best examples of New Labour free-market. Even the Conservatives would have shrunk from some of New Labour's privatisations.

However, I'm not sure that the purely market approach of New Labour (as enshrined in the Act) is a fair criticism of captialism: it's a criticism of the people who supported this Act and who voted for it. Can genuine market ever be said to exist for an activity that is as addictive as FoBT "gambling" ?

This was a craven, shameful piece of legislation.

Yeah it was effectively multiple super casino's on every high street, without the ID control that old casino's used to enforce.

The self exclusion issue needs to be championed, how can the idea be furthered ? Have you any contacts in parliament willing to discuss the issue, I'm happy to meet up and see if we can get the ball rolling. It's something that would be very difficult to argue against.

Sadly, parliament as a whole doesn't yet see this as a priority; indeed in the short-term, there may be further slackening of the law.

Little chance of self-exclusion in Newham FPR. There's reportedly a street there with 18 (eighteen) betting shops, about double that of the Green Lanes strip.

Well don't forget, the number of bookies is a side issue for the plight of gamblers, that's just like talking about the number of dealers on a street, as long as there is one on every high street, the misery will continue. The key thing is that if the risk taker wants to opt out then every bookie must be forced to honour that agreement right across all of their outposts and have a system in place to ensure this happens rigourously.

The number of bookies on the high street discussion is really just a bourgeois debate about how to make the consumer high street as attractive as possible. The really important issue is the right to self exclude.

The really important issue is the right to self exclude.

IMO, the ability to self-exclude is a side issue. Few 'risk takers' elect to desist because they are addicted.

The suggestion that, the number of bookies really just a bourgeois debate about how to make the consumer high street as attractive as possible, is misplaced and misunderstands the strategy of the gambling industry.

Their aim for several years has been to make their premises as attractive as possible. From a strictly aesthetic POV, betting shops fit into the high street better than ever, with slick modern promotions. The aim is to appear as just form of  retail and to normalise gambling.

Some residents care what is going on in the lives of the poor wretches who waste their money in these 'shops' and can see that legislation has had a dramatic effect.

Don't forget the really important issue is establishment and continuing existence of the Gambling Act 2005, the previous government's most socially destructive piece of legislation. It provided for up to four FoBT's per premises and, together with other permissive clauses, changed the landscape for high street gambling in the UK.

The basis for the number of "betting" shops is now market demand for the most addictive form of gambling - Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, the source of most betting "shop" profits and the crack cocaine of gambling.



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