Many councils are alarmed at the proliferation of betting shops and payday lenders in high streets, particularly in the poorer districts. In Brent statistics show that the borough has at least
twice as many bookmakers as the London average, based on population. With current planning policies there is little a council can do to limit the number of betting and money shops, nor can it stop some categories of retail, such as cafes, pubs and restaurants
from changing to these types of businesses without planning permission. Hackney
Borough Council, together with 62 other local authorities, has submitted a
proposal for the government to create a separate planning use class for betting
shops so that councils have new powers to address the problem. It is to be hoped that the growth in betting opportunities on line, such as casino and bingo sites can also be monitored. The recent budget could be said to encourage more to bet on at bingo with cuts in their tax liability.