Cantillon: UK court backs Paddy Power

Court overturns Newham council’s refusal to grant Paddy Power licence to open new shop

UK court  overturns Newham council’s refusal to grant Paddy Power a licence to open a new betting shop in east London. Photo: Bloomberg

UK court overturns Newham council’s refusal to grant Paddy Power a licence to open a new betting shop in east London. Photo: Bloomberg

Tue, Jun 18, 2013, 10:19

Yesterday’s decision by a court to overturn Newham council’s refusal to grant Paddy Power a licence to open a new betting shop in east London will come as a relief to the both the Irish company and the industry as a whole.

The local authority’s decision looked very much like it had been stoked by a recent furore over a connection between anti-social behaviour and bookies’ shops on British high streets.

Whatever has been said in other forums, the court in this instance said the council’s case was “wrong” on the basis of the evidence presented.

In fact, district judge Paul Goldspring concluded that the granting of the licence would be reasonably consistent with the licensing objective of preventing crime and disorder.

Reforms of Britain’s laws in 2005 made it easier to get betting shop licences, but lately there has been a backlash against this. British shadow culture secretary, Harriet Harman, a Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham, is one of the campaign’s more vocal figures.

While she has given the campaign some political heft, the Newham ruling at least indicates that it will take a change in legislation, rather than a change in planners’ attitudes, if people want to place new limits on betting shop
licences.

The reality is that such a change is going to require support from the UK’s coalition government, or at least the memberships of the parties that make up the alliance. Harman is an opposition MP.

It’s also worth pointing out that the reform of Britain’s gambling legislation was a Labour government initiative, and many of those who supported it then are continuing to pursue political careers from the opposition benches.

The odds against a change in legislation look long.

Paddy Power is leaving nothing to chance – no bookie does.

The company has pledged to maintain dialogue with the local councils and intends to donate the costs it has been awarded to local communities.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.