Poor odds for casinos in Wandsworth


Councillors are set to reaffirm their ban on casinos this Wednesday.

By Lorcan Lovett

Gamblers will be throwing the dice outside Wandsworth as councillors are set to reaffirm their ban on casinos this Wednesday.

Members of the environment, culture and community safety scrutiny committee argued the borough’s residential nature makes it unsuitable for casinos.

A final decision on the policy is scheduled to be made by the full council on 5 December.

Deputy council leader Jonathan Cook said: “Casinos would almost certainly prove a big nuisance to people living nearby and cause great harm to the borough’s thriving night-time economy.

“For these reasons we firmly believe Wandsworth should remain a no-go area for casino operators.”

Councillors first adopted a “no casinos” policy in 2006 when new gambling laws were introduced in the UK.

The legislation requires local authorities to review their policies every three years.

A fresh public consultation involving residents, businesses and faith groups revealed support for the ban.

Wandsworth Green Party said they are opposed to any increase of gambling places, including casinos.

Party co-ordinator Roy Vickery said they wrote to the Council in favour of maintaining the ban.

“We are concerned about the number of gambling establishments which already exist in the borough,” he said. “Particularly the number of betting shops in Putney High Street.”

Wandsworth residents have discussed the matter on a community online forum.

“I see no reason at all to refuse casinos, why would a casino be any worse than a night club?” said one resident.

Another resident added: “If the council is serious about combating the problem of gambling addiction, close the betting shops.”

There are several betting shops on High Street and a recent application to Wandsworth Council for a new William Hill book makers in Tooting has caused division.

An employee of a Wandsworth betting shop, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “There is enough of these mini casinos on the High Street so I do not see any need for the real thing.

“Sitting here on the other side I can say gambling ruins people’s lives.”

Follow us on @SW_Londoner

Related Articles