Bookmakers win licence appeal bid


[from Tottenham, Wood Green and Edmonton Journal]

Bookmakers win licence appeal bid
09 April 2008

RESIDENTS fear that more betting shops will open in Green Lanes after a decision by Haringey Council to refuse a gambling licence was overturned at appeal.

Bookmaker Metrobet has won an appeal against Haringey Council after its decision to reject a premises betting licence for 507 Green Lanes last November.

Residents were opposed to the application and have concerns about the high number of gambling shops in Green Lanes – five increasing to six when Metrobet opens.

They highlighted links between gambling and crime, and concern about the high number of mental health facilities, schools and vulnerable adults in the area.

Ian Sygrave, chairman of the Ladder Community Safety Partnership, was part of the group opposing the application.

He said: “The problem is that the law is weighted against us. My fear is if you can’t win in Green Lanes with all its problems, it’s hard to see where else you would win.”

Mario Petrou, the campaign co-ordinator, said: “It’s going to be disastrous. It’s going to kill the area. The council must appeal this dreadful decision.”

The council rejected Metrobet’s application at the first hearing – which was the first under new gambling laws that came into force in September 2007.

Councillor Nilgun Canver, cabinet member for enforcement and safer communities, said: “We are disappointed. Residents feel strongly about these applications. We have other appeals pending and will be in a better position to decide the way forward when we know the outcome of those appeals.”

A hearing at Haringey Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, April 1, found in favour of Metrobet.

Another hearing at the same court will decide costs to be awarded on Monday, and the council will be faced with picking up the bill.

An appeal against a rejected gambling licence for another premises at 48 Grand Parade will be heard on Friday.

A third appeal is also pending on a property at 32-33 Grand Parade.


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