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game over flyer

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The campaign against a 24-hour slot machine arcade planned for Green Lanes is moving into a new phase, following success in applying for a review by the council of the "bingo" licence that was granted to Merkur Slots in December. The review will be discussed by Enfield Licensing Committee on 16th June. Ahead of the review there will be a four-week period - 21st April to 18th May - during which interested parties can make further representations.

A clear message to Merkur that they are not welcome in Palmers Green

Commenting on the success of the application for a review, Shirley Rose from StopPGMerkurSlots highlighted the role played by councillors, including council leader Nesil Caliskan:

"The application was made in the name of the council leader, which we hope will give it lots of clout. Nesil has put her money where her mouth is and has placed considerable time and effort into the application process, as has Cllr Leaver. The evidence for the application was provided by our campaign group with impressive contributions from other interested parties, including our MP, Bambos Charalambous, who raised the matter in parliament.

"We view this as an impressive victory for local democracy, which  also gives a clear message to Merkur that they are not welcome in Palmers Green."

Add your voice

To gather further support from residents, the campaigners will be distributing a flyer (see above) asking people to email the council's licensing department. The licensing department will accept representations from people and businesses who live/work sufficiently close to the premises to be affected and also from their representatives (councillors, MP, community leaders etc).

If you wish to object you should email . The email subject line should read "Review of Merkur Slots Licence" and you should include your name and address. You need to provide details or evidence of how the application does not meet one or more of the licensing objectives, which are:

  • preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime.
  • ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way.
  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Public health dangers

Last week StopPGMerkurSlots held an online meeting with Carolyn Harris MP, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group for problem gambling. She stressed the importance of getting schools, police, shops and other involved institutions to make representations, and emphasized the negative impact of high street gambling premises:

"She impressed upon us that such gambling centres should be viewed as a public health dangers. They normalise gambling for children and create addiction. They can lead to increased domestic abuse, mental health problems, suicide, homelessness and family break-up. They also cause breakdown in law and order and are associated with money laundering."

 

The application for a review of the granting of a licence to Merkur Slots

clustering of betting shops in palmers green

Existing betting shops close to the Merkur Slots site (excerpt from the licence review application supporting documentation)

The successful application for a review of the premises licence for 292/292a Green Lanes was made by council leader Nesil Caliskan on 14th April. In an introductory letter Cllr Caliskan states her complete opposition to the opening of further betting or gambling premises in the borough. She says that such venues encourage behaviour that has a negative effect on individuals, families and communities. She is particularly concerned about the 24-hour element of the licence, which she says will make it difficult to prevent crime and disorder and further strain police resources, and points out the proximity of two schools and a heavily used bus stop. Palmers Green ward is one of the top 40 per cent of moist deprived wards in the country. Town centres and high streets should not be places where people are encouraged to get into debt.

The evidence supporting the application consists of a 15-page document covering the following:

1   Ground for review number one: preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder.

1.1 Palmers Green crime and anti-social behaviour data.

    1. Domestic abuse incidents
    2. Personal robbery
    3. Anti-social behaviour.
    4. Palmers Green - All Crime from 2017-2020.

1.2 Palmers Green demographics and risk factors.

1.3 Impact of a twenty-four-hour licence

2 Ground for review number two: protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

2.1 Location risk factors for children and vulnerable persons.

    1. Proximity to schools
    2. Proximity to places where children and/or vulnerable persons visit and congregate

2.2    Dangers of gambling: children and vulnerable persons.

2.3    Public Health Implications.

2.4    Impact on Mental Health

2.5 Clustering of existing betting shops on Green Lanes.

Also attached to the application were the following supporting information and letters:

  1. Enfield Council response to Department for Culture, Media and Sport consultation
    on the Gambling Act 2005
  2. Local Government Association response to Department for Culture, Media and
    Sport consultation on the Gambling Act 2005
  3. Palmers Green Ward Councillors letter of support
  4. Copy of the letter from Councillor Caliskan sent to local residents about Merkur
    Slots
  5. Addendum from local residents about the initial licence consultation
  6. Copies of emails from residents against Merkur Slots opening, sent to Councillor
    Caliskan

Links

Appendix to licence review application - evidence and supporting documentation

Merkur Slots venue to have licence reviewed (Enfield Independent 21 April l2021)

NO! To Merkur Slots in Palmers Green

Previous reporting

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