Problem gambling objections set aside at gaming centre

Despite concerns over problem gambling, a condition restricting hours of operation has been lifted to allow 24-hour opening at a gaming centre in a Nottingham district centre.

The appeal site occupied the ground floor of a property in a three-storey terrace with flats on some upper floors. The council objected to removing the restriction because of potential for noise and disturbance associated with the comings and goings of people at unsociable hours. However, it did not challenge the appellant’s noise impact assessment, which showed that noise generated by night-time visitors was significantly lower than existing background noise. The appellant also provided evidence of very low night-time visitor levels to other all-night gaming premises in similar district centres.

The council and police raised an additional concern that the local population was at high risk of problem gambling. The inspector found no substantive evidence to suggest that increasing the centre’s hours of operation would lead to a harmful material increase in the number of people using the premises. Overall, she concluded that 24-hour operation would not have a materially harmful effect on neighbouring residents’ living conditions or on the health, social or cultural wellbeing of local people, so it was not reasonable or necessary to retain the hours condition.

Inspector: Zoe Raygen; Written representations

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