Residents raise concerns about the numerous gambling outlets in Croydon

Residents are raising concerns about the number of gambling outlets in a borough – linking it to an increase crime and antisocial behaviour.

Croydon town hall chiefs issued a licence last month in a borough which already has 61 establishments with betting licences and five with adult gaming licences.

The issues concerning these permits were discussed at a committee meeting last week.

Ward councillor Oliver Green said: “The proliferation of gambling establishments on our high streets is a concern for many communities in the borough and that is particularly a problem in New Addington.

“We see a lot of people street drinking and I think there is a risk that if we are putting in gaming establishments, we exacerbate some of these problems.

“I think having establishments like this where you can spend long periods of time can increase crime and antisocial behaviour.”

The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) argues that the Government’s new policy will hit the local economy.

A spokesman for ABB said: “Betting shops contribute greatly to the local economy in Croydon, employing nearly 400 people.

“More than 90 per cent of the economic benefits of the shops stay
local, too, helping enrich communities.”

Croydon council asserts that all the licences they issue are closely monitored and that the licensing sub-committee would scrutinise any infringements.

A council representative said: “Croydon now has five licensed adult gaming centre premises in the borough.

“If any breached their licence conditions or broke related laws, an application could be made to review the licence and the licensing sub-committee would consider that application.”

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