UK Labour Party Criticizes Number of High Street Betting Shops… Again

High Street betting shops in the UK seem to be irritating the UK Labour Party non-stop, and this week they launched another attack at the pastime, but with lack of success as the Gambling Commission statistics speak differently from what Labourists seek to suggest.

Namely, according to the Labour leader Ed Miliband and his deputy Harriet Harman, the alleged proliferation of betting shops and payday loan companies on high streets have seen growing numbers of shops shut down in a tough economic climate.

It appears that Labourists plan to stop further expansion by changing local planning laws to empower councils to reject new applicants, but such plans seem to be based on mere suspect stats.

It has been noted by The Independent that "Trouble is, if you believe the Gambling Commission, which was set up by a Labour government, remember, the number of betting shops is already in decline.

"That same government dropped the demand test, which allowed existing operators to object to new betting shop openings before a magistrate.

"It was that change which sparked a mini boom in betting shop numbers, but between March and September 2012 there was a net loss of 79 shops, and the decline is very likely to continue as the consumer squeeze and competition from online eat into profits and force further closures."

Admitting that betting shops are perhaps more noticeable these days, the newspaper explained that this is "...because many of the shops that used to be their neighbors have closed down."

Furthermore, The Independent claims that having in mind the competition from online operators, heavy business rates and taxation, the economic environment is tough and will likely cause the closure of more betting shops.

"Ms Harman has talked darkly of a casino on every high street. It seems to have passed her by that any internet-connected device gives you access to a casino in your pocket. With no limit on how much you can stake," said the newspaper in conclusion.

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