Have a flutter on your way to work: Ladbrokes to open betting shop in Kingston station (From This Is Local London)
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Have a flutter on your way to work: Ladbrokes to open betting shop in Kingston station
A bookmakers will hedge its bets by opening two new betting shops in Kingston – one designed to tap commuters at Kingston station.
Ladbrokes has had two applications in the town centre approved – one in former sushi restaurant Obento at Kingston station and another in the Clarence Street unit left empty by Blacks Leisure.
Asked why the company wanted two shops in such close proximity to one another, a Ladbrokes spokesman said: “We judge that they cater to different markets, one being for those using the town centre, the other for those using the station, primarily commuters.
“We have shops in Victoria and several other major train stations, and you often find betting shops within reach of transport hubs because of their high footfall.”
Ladbrokes is the second largest betting chain with more than 2,500 High Street shops and profits this year of £55m.
The betting shop at the station will join a Costa coffee, a newsagent and a ticket office. An empty unit on the platform used to be another newsagent.
Councillor Howard Jones, leader of Kingston’s Conservatives, said: “The problem is you can’t object to it because there is no planning reason to stop it.
“This is the thin end of the wedge and we can expect this to happen time and again until we get a change in policy.”
Last week, Kingston Council agreed a Conservative motion seeking to lobby ministers into giving local authorities greater powers to turn down applications from betting shops, estate agents and money lenders, where it is felt the need is already met.
Liberal Democrat councillor Chrissie Hitchock, licensing committee chairwoman, said: “This is the first I’ve heard of it and as chair of the licensing committee I’m disappointed officers didn’t inform me these applications were in and had been agreed.
“The betting shops aren’t doing anything illegal, just taking advantage of the laws.
“We must press ahead with this motion to put pressure on the Government to change the rules.”
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