New Paddy Power would be bad for Caledonian Road, councillor warns
Paul Convery also criticised gambling companies for targeting typically poorer communities
A new bookmakers on Caledonian Road would “exacerbate anti-social behaviour”, councillors have warned.
Labour councillors Paul Convery, Una O’Halloran and Rupert Perry have announced that they will vote against giving permission for a new Paddy Power shop, arguing that it will increase behaviour such as on-street drinking.
Mr Convery also warned that the proposed shop could be used to support criminal activities.
“Fixed odds betting terminals are laundering drugs money,” he said. “Criminals will use the machines to justify where their money has come from”.
Paddy Power has applied for a gambling licence and planning permission for the shop, which has been empty since Harters Solicitors closed in 2013, but the councillors have said that they will vote against approving both when the matter is discussed at a council meeting.
The councillors also argue that approving the store would breach Islington council’s own gambling policy, which states that it will “seek to limit facilities for gambling in areas where it feels its vulnerable residents will be put at potential risk of harm”.
Mr Convery said that gambling giants are increasingly targeting areas of low deprivation, including Islington, warning that poorer residents are at a greater risk of addiction.
“There is a correlation between betting shops and deprivation,” he said. “Betting shops tend to be in poorer places”.
Paddy Power’s applications will be discussed by the council before the end of the year.