UK Betting Shops Industry Enjoy Massive Expansion
London, and indeed the entire UK, has a strong history as a gambling nation. Almost every high street in the country is packed with bookmakers and gambling spots. In the London borough of Newham alone there are 80 betting shops with 18 on one street alone.
However, there are those who aren’t pleased that the UK is expanding upon this tradition. Last week a number of people in North London campaigned to prevent an old pub being converted into another betting shop.
Nonetheless, the last decade has seen the government encourage the expansion of gambling, albeit somewhat inadvertently. The recession led to mass closures of retail shops across the UK and last year the government launched a plan to try and revive high streets. It loosened planning regulations so that it wasn’t necessary to apply for change-of-use permission before opening a new business.
The government thought that this would likely lead to a number of restaurants and cafes opening. The reality was that most venues became various forms of bookmakers or payday loan shops. Councils now have no real control over what is opened in their territory which has led to street after street of gambling spots.
In a further positive sign for the industry, while there are now more betting shops than ever before, they are also all economically viable.