Petition against new Palmers Green gambling venue signed by more than 1,000 people

Residents bemoan proposed arrival of Palace Amusements as the latest gambling outlet in Green Lanes, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Lloyds Bank in Green Lanes and (inset) Palace Amusements
Lloyds Bank in Green Lanes and (inset) Palace Amusements

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition against a “totally unsuitable” gambling venue being planned for Palmers Green.

Palace Amusements wants to open an adult gaming centre in a former Lloyds Bank branch at 369-371 Green Lanes and has applied to Enfield Council for a premises licence to allow it to operate.

The stretch of road is already home to four betting shops and a Merkur Slots gaming centre that opened in 2021 despite considerable local opposition.

A petition against the latest gaming centre plan has already gained more than 1,000 signatures since being launched on 4th July. It warns gambling venues could lead to crime and disorder and put children at risk of “becoming normalised to gambling”.

Giorgia Scaturro, who launched the petition and is part of local group Palmers Green Action Team, said: “We work very hard to bring businesses that could improve the local economy. This is a family friendly community – 20% of the demographic is children, and there is particularly no offer for them.

“We feel powerless. We want a cinema, a bookshop – and [instead] we get Palace Amusements. If this gaming centre goes ahead, we will have one patisserie between Ladbrokes and Palace Amusements. How can this be allowed?”

Giorgia believes the proposal would contravene a council planning policy stating that there should be a minimum of five non-betting shop units between the next betting shop premises.

Her petition also claims betting shops and gambling venues attract criminality and pose risks to vulnerable people.

It adds that an adult gaming centre “is totally unsuitable in this area with a large number of growing families and elderly”, warning that children “will be exposed to yet more betting shops and gamblers while en route to school, to the nearby park, playgrounds and local shops, or at bus stops.

Giorgia said having so many gambling venues in such a small area deterred other businesses from setting up on the high street – and the council seemed “powerless” to stop the gaming centres from opening.

She said she wanted to know how the council could work with landlords to encourage retailers and other businesses to set up in the area and help to regenerate it.

Giorgia added: “Palmers Green is in the 40% most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK. Another betting shop is not going to help socially or economically. We just want this to stop.”

Giorgia appealed to residents to send their objections to the council before the deadline on 31st July. Advice on how to object is set out on the petition web page, which is available here.

Palace Amusements and Enfield Council have been approached for comment.

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