Casinos Not A Good Bet For Wandsworth?

Have your say on whether borough remains a no-go area

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Casinos or no casinos?

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Councillors say they want to stick with their long standing policy that Wandsworth is no place for casinos.

The council is undertaking a fresh round of public consultation as part of a legal requirement to update its policy on gambling.

Launching the consultation, councillors on the culture, environment and community safety committee said they firmly believed that the borough's predominantly residential nature made it the wrong place for new casino premises.

Councillors first adopted a "no casinos" policy in 2006, when new gambling laws were introduced in the UK. The legislation requires local authorities to review their policies every three years.

Culture spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: "Wandsworth is a wonderfully diverse borough with its popular residential areas served by five town centres, each with their own character.

"It is difficult to see how changing the policy to allow new casino venues in any one of these town centres would improve their attractiveness or make the borough a better place to live.

"Our view is that allowing casinos could prove a big nuisance to local residents, while the borough's thriving night-time economy could also be badly affected and this would be bad news for existing local businesses.

"For these reasons we believe Wandsworth should remain a no-go area for casino operators.

"However, it is important that we listen to the views of the general public. They may share our feelings, but equally they may not. We won't be making a final decision until we have heard what the public has to say."

Members of the public who wish to take part in the consultation can visit to find out more.

The closing date for responses is October 26.

October 15, 2012