A 12th betting shop to open in Wembley

Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Paul Lorber outside the shop

Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Paul Lorber outside the shop - Credit: Archant

Concerns over the flurry of gambling dens in the area

The borough’s Liberal Democrat group has condemned the prospect of another betting shop soon to open in Wembley.

The BetFred shop at 458 Wembley High Road, will bring the total number along Harrow Road and High Road to 12.

However, it is claimed there are more on nearby Ealing Road and other streets.

The news follows the Times’ report this week that Brent was among the top authorities nationwide for amounts gambled in the last year.

Sudbury councillor and Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Paul Lorber criticised the shops for “sucking money out of locals”, adding: “No-one locally will benefit from the opening of yet another betting shop in Wembley.

“It is more urgent than ever that both the council and the government take action to stop our High Streets being dominated by these parasitic businesses.”

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A motion was put to Brent Council, setting out the need for action in July 2011 which received support from all parties.

Cllr Lorber added: “I am sad that the council’s portfolio holder seems to have done little since.”

However, a spokesman for Brent Council said: “Local authorities do not have sufficient powers to stop the opening of betting shops.

“These powers are decided by Parliament and not Brent Council. Since 1999 there has been liberalisation of betting shop regulation such as a relaxation on their advertising and the abolition of the test for demand.

“Under the Gambling Act 2005 the Gambling Commission is required to ‘permit gambling’ and the licensing authorities are required to ‘aim to permit the use of premises for gambling’.”