No Paddy Power at the Lordship N22


From the campaign;

paddy powerEarlier this year Paddy Power Bookmakers applied to Haringey Council for a premises licence to open a betting shop on Lordship Lane in Wood Green potentially making it the third betting shop in a small parade of 20 shops. There was overwhelming objection to the application by local residents and businesses, some of whom had suffered first hand crime and anti-social behaviour from the punters who frequented the two betting shops already there.

At the hearing, the licensing committee found sufficient evidence of crime and disorder to reject the licensing application which Paddy Power are now appealing against in the Magistrates Court.

The Lordship Campaign Group comprises of by residents who submitted objections against the licensing application and is supported by the wider community in the local area. Wood Green already has 15 betting shops within a 0.7 mile radius of Wood Green underground station and anecdotal accounts from police officers reveal a substantial amount of police resources is spent tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in and outside the current betting shops.

Paddy Power claim : “Opening a Paddy Power betting shop is a major local investment. In this case we are bringing a vacant property back into use and creating around 5 new jobs. In addition our research shows our shops attract customers to other retailers in the area. So at a time the UK high street us facing unprecedented challenges due to the economic downturn and the emergence of out of town shopping centres we believe we can make a positive contribution to the communities we operate in.”

The Lordship Campaign disagrees with their statement as :

  1. the unit was, until earlier this year, an operating pub.
  2. betting shops serve only a very small section of any community and bring no benefit to the residents of Wood Green
  3. attempts to use the few employment posts to justify that as a benefit to our local community is not persuasive, their staff have to operate from behind reinforced safety glass and proposals for their operations include the installation of a high number of security cameras as well as reinforced locks; all of these indicate the the increased risk of crime and disorder which occur in betting shops.
  4. gambling businesses do not regenerate the local economy in the longer term nor does it allow the local community to become sustainable as its income is generated from addiction, similar to alcohol or drug addictions.
  5. in an area of high deprivation such as Wood Green the lower income or unemployed are most at risk; residents need longer term businesses which benefit the wider local area to sustain the local economy and increase employment opportunities (see the Campaign for Fairer Gambling report) income or profits generated from betting shops do not feed back into the local economy
  6. the landscape of our high street has been changed considerably by the presence of these gambling shops giving it a negative impression overall with among some reasons :-
    • punters smoking on the pavement outside giving the impression of groups loitering,creating a threatening environment for passers by both by their presence and rubbish they drop;
    • the proliferation of betting shops make it visibly obvious the reduction of the variety of businesses to attract shoppers to the high street which is detrimental to the local economy;
    • companies operating betting shops will be able to afford increased rentals demanded by commercial landlords which in turn inflate commercial rental levels in Wood Green, making it difficult for small businesses to compete and its effect is already visible in the that part of Lordship Lane’s landscape;
    • local businesses have themselves suffered from the impact (anti-social behaviour, petty theft) of having one betting shop in a parade of seven on that stretch of Lordship Lane and another double shop outlet in a parade of 13 shops.

Paddy Power have not explained why they feel it necessary to open a third outlet in this small parade of shops located in an area of high deprivation. Neither have they shown evidence of demand. The social cost of gambling addiction (poverty, breakdown in family relationships, crime, anti-social behaviour) far outweighs any benefit which the betting industry claims they bring to the community and has to be borne for the longer term by the individual, family and wider community around them.

Our Campaign calls not only for a change to the planning legislation to make it mandatory to seek planning consent for change of use from any premises to a betting shop but also for the Gambling Act 2005 to be amended removed the requirement for local authorities to “aim to permit” licensing applications. The group does not reject the presence of betting shops absolutely but refutes the need for clustering of betting shops in extreme numbers such as that seen in Wood Green and other deprived communities.


Here Heidi Saarinen of the campaign explains more;

NO Paddy Power Awareness Event Heidi Saarinen campaigner Lordship N22 Campaign Group from LordshipN22CampaignGroup on Vimeo.

One Response to No Paddy Power at the Lordship N22

  1. “punters smoking on the pavement outside giving the impression of groups loitering,creating a threatening environment for passers by both by their presence and rubbish they drop”