Ladbrokes won’t be allowed to split one of its premises in two after a planning committee put the kibosh on their plans. According to This is Gloucestershire, age-old rival William Hill kicked up a fuss as the former tried to split its Cheltenham branch in half to increase trade. Jeremy Philips, representing the Lads in the red corner of the biggest fight since the Rumble in the Jungle, stated the reason was to allow the bookie to appeal to different demographics. He added: “The larger premises would be used to appeal to the older age group who like to sit down with a cup of coffee and watch the racing.
“The smaller unit would be more like a convenience store where people could come in and out quickly, suiting younger people in more of a hurry.”
That means one side would be a glorified chillout zone with next door the world’s first betting shop/night club fusion. We live in hope.
It was down to Hills to remind the borough council’s licencing sub-committee of the Gambling Commission guidelines on gaming machines.
“When Parliament passed the Gambling Act, one of its principal objectives was to limit the number of high-stakes, high-prize gaming machines on the High Street,” said Philip Kolvin, legal representative at William Hill.
“This was partly to limit the potential harm to vulnerable people,” he added.
The act referred to concerns that allowed only four “high-stake” gaming machines per premises. Splitting the shop in two would allow eight and however much the interior of the two premises were changed that would still be the case.
Ladbrokes had planned to spend around £280,000 redesigning the premises and will now have to go back to the drawing board to create their “old and new” gambling premises. As for Hills they can mark one down in the win column for now and be glad they had their eye on the ball. Us… we were hoping both sides would be up next week on Harry Hill’s TV Burp. FIGHT!!!