Written evidence submitted by Dr Liza Messing (GA 07)

I write with reference to the Gambling Act (2005) and the Committee’s proposed inquiry into its effects.


Since the introduction of the Act, the number of betting shops and adult gaming centres on Harringay Green Lanes has double from 5 to 10. I live in the Green Lanes area and I find that these establishments do absolutely nothing to enhance our community life or that of my family.


Overall the community life in this area is badly affected by large numbers of betting shops opening. It leads to people like me avoiding the high street. This means that the sense of community is disappearing and people are starting to be scared.The clustering of and rise in the number of these premises causes a degradation in local shopping streets through, increased crime, local traders closing, violent crime (smashing windows), and an increase in problem gambling and associated social problems.

What has been a thriving high street with many sole traders, attracting shoppers from all over North London and surviving the existence of a large Sainsburys nearby, is threatened with severe decline if action is not taken in the next year to reverse this trend. 2 banks on our stretch of high road have closed and been replaced with betting shops, reducing our community resources.

I am very proud of being part of the local community in Green Lanes, N4 and enjoy the diversity and entrepreneurial spirit of the local population. There are many opportunities being opened up through the Localism and Big Society initiatives of this Government. However, The Gambling Act (2005) works against our aspirations to have control over our own street and locality.


I urge the committee to consider:

1. An amendment to the Gambling Act (2005) (8. Premises Licences section 153 Principles to be applied) to change the ‘aim to permit’ to a ‘demand to prove’.

2. Remove betting shops from A2, and consider a new class use A6 to include betting shops, casinos and amusement centres, or make betting shops 'sui generis' as per clubs, nightclubs, casinos and amusement centres etc.

3. An amendment to the Gambling Act (2005) (8. Premises Licences section 172 Gaming Machines) to ban FOBTs outright (as the Republic of Ireland has done).

I would be pleased to supply further information and also look forward to hearing from you.

June 2011

Prepared 29th July 2011