Betfred gambling shop approved in Leeds

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Plans for a new gambling shop in Leeds have been approved despite a councillor’s objection.

Leeds City Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee today granted Betfred’s proposal to open in Queen Street, Morley, after planning permission had already been given for the project.

Coun Robert Finnigan, of the Morley Borough Independents, said that another betting shop would provide “temptation” to children in the area – something which the company denied.

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Although he was not present, Coun Finnigan provided a written representation which read: “Morley Town Centre already suffers from too many betting shops.

“The nature of such shops, along with their promotion of online gambling, has a significant negative impact on local children and young people, encouraging them to get involved with the gambling industry.

“The cumulative impact of an additional betting shop normalizes the presence of such facilities and provides a temptation to many children and young people to get drawn into gambling often with negative consequences.”

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However Mark Owen, a solicitor who addressed councillors on behalf of Betfred, said that while there were now three gambling shops in the Queen Street area, there used to be a fourth site run by Coral.

This was confirmed by principal licensing officer Philomena Carville.

Mr Owen added: “We would not wish to advertise our products [in a way] that would be in any way enticing to children.”

He added that doing so would not be in the company’s interests.

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Opening hours at the shop are likely to be between 8am and 10pm from Monday to Saturday, and between 9.30am and 10pm on Sundays.