Town hall grants licence for gambling arcade in Canning Town despite neighbours’ objections

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 October 2020

Newham Council's licensing sub-committee has granted an application for a adult gaming centre in Canning Town. Picture: LBN

Newham Council's licensing sub-committee has granted an application for a adult gaming centre in Canning Town. Picture: LBN


A 24-hour gambling arcade has been granted a licence despite opposition from neighbours and police.

Amuse East London Ltd’s licence application for an adult gaming centre (AGC) in Barking Road, Canning Town got the thumbs-up at a meeting of Newham’s licensing sub-committee on Tuesday, September 29.

The centre would have up to 50 arcade machines and employ eight to 10 people.

The application met with objections from Newham’s police licensing officer who raised concerns about customers being preyed upon by others.

Pc Gary Watson said: “Newham is a deprived area and Canning Town is one of the most deprived parts of it. Police have no option but to object to this application.”

However, Pc Watson added Amuse East London’s two existing premises in Stratford do not cause problems.

A ward officer’s report said there was already concern at the high levels of anti-social behaviour, street drinking, robbery and drug taking in the area which he linked to existing gambling establishments’ customers.

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Paddy Whur, representing the applicant, said the family-run business could not be compared to big betting firms targeting “vulnerable” areas, adding the applicant, from Loughton, is local.

One objector said the business was registered in Norfolk, “a sleepy little place” without crime, and that young people were attracted to slot machines, becoming addicted to gambling as adults.

Mr Whur explained AGCs have lower stakes, are not permitted to have fixed odds betting terminals, have an older, regular clientele and serve tea and coffee.

However, one objector argued the impact of gambling should not be measured on the size of the stake but as a proportion of a person’s income.

Mr Whur said there is no evidence the applicant had a problem with anyone vulnerable to gambling addiction.

The applicant had an AGC in Canning Town before with no evidence of it creating crime, he said.

He added the applicant, who did not attend the meeting, has a direct line to Newham’s police chief Richard Tucker and no crime statistics had been put before the committee.

The licence was granted in principle with conditions.

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