Campaigners up fight to stop Paddy Power opening a second bookmakers in Kilburn High Road
- Credit: Archant
Councillors and campaigners have pledged to fight “tooth and nail” to stop a betting shop giant adding a second branch in Kilburn High Road.
Paddy Power Betfair is having its appeal heard by government inspectorate next week after Camden Council rejected its application to add a second shop on the ‘saturated’ busy street.
The town hall said a second branch would have a negative impact on the community.
The community gathered outside the proposed site of the former shoe shop on Tuesday evening to plead with inspectors not to alter its “change of use” from retail to betting shop.
They said the mile-long Kilburn High Road, known locally as “The Strip” because of its gambling dens, already has eight betting shops and seven pawn brokers which they claim targets the most vulnerable people in the area.
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A law limiting bookmakers to four fixed odds betting terminals (FOTB’s) per branch, considered to be one of the most addictive and expensive forms of gambling, is believed to have led to businesses opening multiple branches in the same area.
Paddy Power Betfair had unsuccessfully tried to open a second branch on the Brent side of Kilburn High Road but after this was reject by the council they switched to the Camden side.
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Josie Warshaw, a spokeswoman for residents’ association Brent Eleven Streets (BEST), said: “Betting shops are only allowed four fixed-odd betting terminals per shop so to get around the law they just add another shop. Adding another betting shop to the high street is pure greed at the expense of other people’s lives.
“Fixed-odd-betting terminals are called the crack cocaine machines because they are so addictive. They cause misery to families, local business and the wider community.”
Leslie Clyne, who lives in Brondesbury, added: “We want proper shops not more of these kinds of shops. We already have lots of betting shops, money lending shops and pound shops.”
Deborah Rothenberg, a pregnant mother from Glengall Road. She said: “Do we need another? Paddy Power is already here. We’ve got William Hill at the top of the road as well. It doesn’t give anything to the community, it just gnaws away at it.
“Another shop doesn’t serve anyone except Paddy Power and they themselves offer no true exchange of services as a retail shop would do.
Cllr Maryam Eslamdoust, Camden’s Labour councillor for Kilburn ward, said: “Kilburn High Road is saturated with betting shops. These premises make no positive contribution to the area where Paddy Power is already established.
Cllr Douglas Beattie, her Labour colleague in Kilburn, added: “There is no communal value in those outlets. Paddy Power knows it, the residents know it and we are not prepared to stand for any more betting shops which already saturate Kilburn and will fight it tooth and nail.”
The appeal meeting is on April 12 at 10am in Room 310, Camden Old Town Hall, Judd Street.
Paddy Power failed to comment..