£500 jackpot arcade row

[from Hornsey and Crouch End Journal]

£500 jackpot arcade row

20 November 2008

A BID to potentially triple the number of gaming machines offering £500 jackpots in a gambling arcade has sparked outrage from nearby residents.

Betting shop operator Agora, also known as Frankice, lodged an application with Haringey Council to divide its Adult Gaming Centre in Grand Parade, Green Lanes, Harringay, into three units.

But Harringay Online community website, a group that campaigned to stop the arcade opening, claims it is a “cynical” attempt to avoid a law that restricts shops from having more than four Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.

Hugh Flouch, website founder, said: “There is a logic around restricting machines to four per premises because they were referred to as the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling in the House of Lords.

“For Agora to skirt the law by claiming they’ve got three different premises is slightly outrageous.”

The website has launched a petition opposing the application which had 90 signatures on Tuesday.

The touch screen betting terminals look like pub quiz machines and offer a number of games including roulette with payouts of up to £500.

Haringey Council was forced to pay out £10,000 in costs to Frankice in May this year after losing a court battle to keep the arcade from opening.

It had refused its application for an adult gaming licence in January.

Agora declined to comment.

Residents can comment on the licensing application until December 3 by contacting Haringey Council or can sign the petition at www.petitiononline.com/AgoraN4/petition.html.


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