Civil unrest that is currently engulfing the UK’s largest city has left large parts of London damaged beyond repair. Given that the land-based gaming industry, especially bookmakers, have a number of premises in the deprived areas of the city where much of the rioting and looting have taken place, they have been affected.
Understandably, much of the 24-hour rolling news coverage has featured pictures of the betting shops being smashed up and looted by any number of thugs and hoodlums.
We spoke to Mark Pearson from Betfred, who explained that they’ve “had a number of premises damaged” and as such are “assessing the situation at the moment.”
Ladbrokes shops featured prominently on a great deal of the news coverage and footage of their shops has been plastered across various outlets.
A statement read:
About twenty of our shops have been affected by burglary, robbery and criminal damage. In the interests of customer and staff safety, around forty Ladbrokes shops across London considered to be at risk of rioters have been closed yesterday, with all cash and valuables taken off site. No staff or customers have been injured. Nevertheless the criminal damage is serious and will require notable investment to repair.
Ladbrokes has excellent security policies in place, a 24-hour security surveillance team and the best CCTV in the business, the images from which are being supplied to the police to assist in their enquiries.
Richard Royal, public affairs manager at Ladbrokes, also added, “Our first concern is to ensure the safety of staff and customers, and as such we took the decision to keep a number of shops closed throughout London today. We are confident of our excellent security policies in a situation like this.
“It is nevertheless shocking to see the actions of a violent minority affecting so many – potentially putting innocent people at risk, preventing important businesses from trading at an already difficult economic time, and creating significant criminal damage which will require major investment to repair over the months to come.”
There a terrifying video of the moment a Ladbrokes branch in Lavender Hill, Clapham Junction was looted below:
William Hill spokesperson Graham Sharpe also spoke to us about the sporadic violence, stating, “The situation in London has, as with so many other large companies, affected a very small number of our branches. We have the welfare of staff very much in the forefront of our thoughts and are working to reopen those branches where it is safe to do so as soon as possible.”
Since Saturday night’s disturbances, the riots have spread to almost every London borough in riot scenes that wouldn’t look out of place in a movie. The original death of a man that sparked off trouble in the North London borough of Haringey is no excuse as this is now gratuitous violence and lawlessness that the government needs to put a stop to. At least as yet there has been no lives lost as part of the violence.