Leeds casino smoking area gambling plans slammed by councillor

The meeting will take place in Leeds Civic Hall on April 9.
The meeting will take place in Leeds Civic Hall on April 9.

An application from casino to include gambling facilities in its current outdoor smoking area could lead to “problem gambling”, a Leeds city councillor has warned.

The authority’s licensing sub-committee will hear an application next month for the Grosvenor Casino in Wellington Bridge Street to “increase gambling facilities” to part of its customer smoking shelter.

But Coun Karen Bruce (Lab, Rothwell) said that putting gambling facilities outdoors could cause problems for those leaving the building seeking to “cool off” from gambling.

A report from Leeds City Council officers states the application seeks the approval to increase the area for “providing gambling facilities by way of including part of the ground floor customer smoking shelter.”

It adds that a plan showing the overall licensed area including the area added in the smoking terrace will be available at the licensing sub-committee meeting where a decision on the application will be made.

In a letter to the council’s licensing department, Coun Bruce stated: “Whilst there is only a small amount of information available here, it would seem that the proposal could present a number of problems.

“By placing gambling equipment in outer areas where people may be cooling off from gambling, where people cannot escape from the machines is unacceptable and could contribute to problem gambling which has knock-on effects in lots of areas including impacts on crime and untold impacts on children and families.”

The NHS’s northern gambling clinic is set to open in Leeds this spring. It will be part-funded by a levy on casinos and will help those affected by gambling addiction.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 9 as Leeds Civic Hall.