Karen Buck

Working hard for Westminster North

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Proliferation of betting shops in Harrow Road: response from CNWL


Dear Karen,

You wrote to Claire about the proliferation of betting shops on the Harrow Road and asked if we would like to comment on this.

Claire asked Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones who is Director and Lead Clinician, National Problem Gambling Clinic, UK.
Addictions Directorate, CNWL for her thoughts and she has provided the quote below from her team.

The National Problem Gambling Clinic receives over 800 referrals a year, the majority of patients referred use bookmakers as their preferred mode of play. Clustering of bookmakers in areas which would instead benefit from regeneration projects such as community centres, subsidised gyms and libraries can increase the number of people betting.

As more people use gambling as a recreational activity because of the lack of alternatives, more people with a vulnerability to problems will be uncovered.

We do not believe four betting shops in one high street does anything to safeguard the wellbeing of the local community, particularly when reflecting on the younger population of that borough.

The staff at the National Problem Gambling Clinic, CNWL NHS Trust.

Kind regards

Claire Murdoch, CEO &
Professor Dorothy Griffiths, Chair
Executive Office
Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust

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