Sunday, May 13, 2007

Betting Shop License Hearing

As reported on Nick's Brockley Central blog here and here, the license hearing at Greenwich Magistrates' Court for the application by Portland bookmakers to operate a betting shop at the former Homeview video shop (corner of Adelaide Avenue and Brockley Road) started on Thursday. It was due to last two days, but they didn't finish hearing all the evidence so it has been adjourned until a future date as yet to be announced. Ute attended on both days and gave evidence on the second day. A considerable number of concerned local residents and Romayne (Brockley ward councillor) also attended.

All six councillors from Ladywell and Brockley ward have formally objected to the application. We are concerned that there will be a concentration of betting shops in a small area, to the detriment of the row of shops as a whole and the local community. The slightly bizarre thing that has emerged in all this is that it is a bit of a David vs Goliath case, with Portland, the small independently-run bookies up against the might of Coral and their team of legal advisers. It feels a little strange to be on the same side as the giant versus the small independent business, but it is a case of too many bookies in the area rather than what type of bookies they may be.

Wonder if Corals are taking bets on the outcome of this one ;).

(added on 15/05/07)
Just read an article from yesterday's Observer about a similar situation in Clapton. It seems the law is changing in September and the demand criteria is being removed, which I guess will mean that the only legal grounds upon which current objections to the Portland application are based will have gone. Does that mean that whatever the outcome of the court hearing, the manager of Portland can just sit tight and then apply again in September? Hmmm, will try to find out more.

1 comment:

Marisa said...

I did already try to place a bet but I was refused!
Portland has already reapplied in Blackheath Standard and again refused. I would imagine that they will continue reapplying on both Brockley and Blackheath Standard. At the moment our strong arguement is lack of demand, if this is taken away then what can we use as an arguement not to have another betting shop across the road from an existing one on such a small parade of shops?