Protesters waved placards as they took to the streets against plans to open another high street casino in their area.

Campaigners in Harlesden fear Silvertime Amusements' plan to open the new adult gaming centre in Park Parade could risk leaving the area “run-down and dangerous” if it is approved.

Saturday’s demonstration (July 1) was in response to the latest planning application submitted to Brent Council, which seeks to change the use of the site from a betting office to a high street casino.

They warn it would the Harlesden area's the third gambling site - and claim that such businesses target the vulnerable.

The plan received 40 objections, with fears it would encourage further addiction and increase anti-social behaviour. 

One objector said: “We already have two such establishments blighting the town, preying on the most vulnerable of our society like vampires.”

Another added: “One of the saddest sights in Harlesden is to see the near-destitute gamblers who fancy themselves as ‘lucky’. There are too many opportunities to lose money already.”

The protest was organised by three Labour councillors from Harlesden and Kensal Green, who, alongside community groups, have already fought off two previous attempts by Silvertime to open similar gambling centres at the site.

The previous applications were rejected because they would lead to an over-concentration of adult gaming centres on the high street.

But the councillors have accused the applicant of trying to “get around this” by splitting the premises in two, with one half used as bookies and the other as an adult gaming centre.

Cllr Jumbo Chan, Cllr Matt Kelcher and Cllr Mili Patel said in a joint statement: “Harlesden, which suffers from high levels of deprivation and household debt, does not need another gambling facility, particularly when there are two other such centres just a few minutes’ walk away.”

They added: “We fully support the community in its opposition to these plans which will bring no benefit to our area and undermine the great progress that has been made in attracting new family businesses, such as the recently opened Nilly’s Flower shop and Kaleo café, to Park Parade”.

Park Parade is already a hotspot for anti-social behaviour and Harlesden’s local policing team have previously opposed plans to give a licence to the premises.

One opponent believes opening a new gambling site “goes against everything” that locals have been trying to achieve in the area over the past decade.

They said: “It will undermine all the work we have done to make Harlesden a viable, welcoming space for people and businesses, turning an already struggling road into another run-down and dangerous no-go area, as well as affecting surrounding streets which already suffer from anti-social behaviour and addiction problems.”

The site would also be close to several schools, including St Claudine’s and Newman Catholic College, leaving councillors concerned that the “illuminated gambling den" will "further glamorise and normalise gambling to young people”.

Silvertime Amusements Ltd could not be reached for a comment. Its application states that the premises would “broaden the evening economy”, whilst having “no adverse impact on retailing activity” or harming the character of the shopping centre.