To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will introduce measures to prevent clustering of betting shops and reform planning guidance on the placement of betting shops.
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what information her Department holds on whether the limit of four fixed odds betting terminals per shop is being circumvented by the clustering of betting shops.
The Government is alive to the concerns around the clustering of betting shops. Since 2015, planning permission has been required for any new betting shops on the high street. In addition, the Gambling Act 2005 requires local authorities to set out in a statement of policy the principles by which they manage the gambling environment in the local area. The statement can be used to set out reasons for why it would be inconsistent with licensing objectives to grant additional licences in a given location e.g. safeguarding children or the vulnerable. The Gambling Commission advise that the use of the licensing statement of policy varies from one Local Authority to another, however where used effectively and regularly updated, they can provide an effective tool for appropriately rejecting new licenses or imposing conditions to improve safeguarding and avoid attempts at clustering.