Wandsworth consults on casino policy

Wandsworth is opening a consultation on its no-casino policy, although councillors have said they want to stick with it.

The council is undertaking a fresh round of public consultation as part of a legal requirement to update its policy on gambling.

Launching the consultation, councillors on the culture, environment and community safety committee said they firmly believed that the borough’s predominantly residential nature made it the wrong place for new casino premises.

Councillors first adopted a “no casinos” policy in 2006, when new gambling laws were introduced in the UK. The legislation requires local authorities to review their policies every three years.

Culture spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Wandsworth is a wonderfully diverse borough with its popular residential areas served by five town centres, each with their own character.

“It is difficult to see how changing the policy to allow new casino venues in any one of these town centres would improve their attractiveness or make the borough a better place to live.”

“Our view is that allowing casinos could prove a big nuisance to local residents, while the borough’s thriving night-time economy could also be badly affected and this would be bad news for existing local businesses.”

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