Sunday January 13, 2013 : HIGH STREET BETTING SHOPS UNDER POLITICAL ATTACK
 
Labour Party's deputy leader says they are "a blight on London's high streets.”
 
The British Labour Party's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, has followed attacks on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals by other Labour politicians  by characterising betting shops as a blight on London high streets.
 
According to the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, a total of GBP 9.5 billion was spent on gambling in the capital in 2012, almost a quarter of the UK total. There are 1,773 betting shops in London.
 
Harman, who is also the shadow Culture Secretary, said: "There is an absolute proliferation of gambling shops and it's causing a blight on people's lives but it's also causing a blight on our high streets.
 
"We're saying to the government they must let local people decide if they don't want betting shops and that means changing the planning laws."
 
Association of British Bookmakers chief Dirk Vennix said: "We have millions of customers that are happy to come into our shops. We employ around 30,000 people in London and we contribute around GBP 600 million to the local economy."