Game over, go play elsewhere

25 October 2021

Enough is enough for Brent Council as it takes a strong stance against the number of adult gaming centres, sometimes known as “arcades”, trying to set up shop in the borough.

Two adult gaming centres based in Kilburn High Road and Park Parade, Harlesden respectively, have had their appeals thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate, after the council refused their proposals to set up 24 hour gaming businesses.

A 2013 London Assembly report found that gambling shops make town centres less attractive, and that the number of people visiting other shops drops as a result.

The council also flagged concerns about the potential impact of these establishments on vulnerable residents, with problem gambling breeding debt as well as mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

Councillor Shama Tatler, Lead Member for Regeneration, Property & Planning said: “We are adamant that we will not tolerate the over-saturation of these businesses, which harm vulnerable local people and surrounding businesses, on Brent’s high streets.

“It is ridiculous that the current legislation does not allow us as the licensing authority to take into account community concerns, but residents can rest assured that we are doing everything within our power to send a clear message to adult gaming centres. They are not welcome in our borough.”

Had planning permission been granted, both proposals would have added to the existing number of adult gaming centres, pawnbrokers and payday loan shops within the shopping centres in question, reaching beyond the levels set out in Brent’s planning policies.