London

Newham Council defends Paddy Power licence refusal

An authority which is home to 80 betting shops has appeared in court to defend its decision to reject a licence for a new one.

Newham in east London has the third highest number of betting shops in London.

Under the 2005 Gambling Act Newham argued opening a Paddy Power branch in Green Street, East Ham, would attract crime and anti-social behaviour.

Paddy Power said it was unable to comment until the case ends.

The betting firm made the application for a licence to operate in February.

A Newham spokesman said the council would argue that no matter how good an operator, anti-social behaviour is associated with betting shops and that fixed odds betting machines are "highly addictive".

The council expects a decision to be reached by Wednesday.

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