Arcade objection from neighbouring betting shop

A betting shop is objecting to another gambling venue opening over fears it will contribute to crime and antisocial behaviour problems in a city centre.

Google Street View image of existing Betfred venue next door to a proposed Admiral adult gaming centre. Credit: Google.
Google Street View image of existing Betfred venue next door to a proposed Admiral adult gaming centre. Credit: Google.

Betfred is objecting to a licensing application from Admiral for an adult gaming centre (AGC) at High Street, Birmingham city centre – next door to an existing Betfred venue.

The adult gaming centre would include gambling machines – and is situated close to an existing Admiral venue in Priory Square which is intended to close if the new venue gains approval.

Planning permission was granted by a planning inspector in August last year, the meeting heard.

A Birmingham City Council licensing sub-committee hearing heard from representatives for both Betfred and Talarius, trading as Admiral.

A representative for Betfred said: “There are ingredients in this particular locality that make it challenging. There are a high number of children who congregate in this area.

“This particular area suffers from homelessness and begging not least because of the presence of the Soup Kitchen.

“It’s acknowledged by the applicant that this area has a relatively high level of crime. We are dealing with a particularly troublesome area with regards to crime.

“This applicant seeks to operate cheek-by-jowl to an existing gambling operator.

“Would we reach tipping point in granting another gambling operator in this challenging locality?”

The meeting heard the venue would employ a security person on the door from 3pm until close at 10pm each day.

A representative for Admiral said: “[The applicant] is the largest operator of adult gaming centres in the country.

“Its individual premises are conducted in full compliance with the Gambling Commission’s requirements including its licensing conditions and its codes and practice.

“All venues have a long record of responsible and compliant management. The premises are conducted in accordance with all of those requirements.

“The applicant says there is no evidence in the bundle before you that the use of these premises as an AGC would adversely impact on existing crime levels in the area.

“There is no evidence the use of the premises is a particular concern from a crime and disorder perspective as an AGC.”

The firm said during the meeting those who had gambling addictions would be offered a variety of measures and facility for customers to take a break from gambling.

The meeting heard the venues were “low stake and relatively low jackpot” and those who appear intoxicated would not be able to enter to protect the vulnerable.

The sub-committee, chaired by Councillor Nagina Kauser and also including Councillor Nicky Brennan and Councillor Adam Higgs will publish a decision within five days.

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