Eleventh shop for gamblers is terrible bet

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Plans to open an ELEVENTH betting and gambling shop in an old town high street are a complete non-starter for other traders.

They are worried Bletchley’s Queensway is becoming a mecca for gamblers from all over the city.

Already the ten gaming shops and arcades boast hundreds of slot machines and dozens of online bingo and poker games as well as the traditional horse racing and sport betting.

“It’s too much,” said craft shop owner Dawn McHugh. “The last thing we need here is more gambling establishments to exploit even more people.”

The latest applicationis to change mobile phone shop Mob Doc into a Paddy Power betting and gaming outlet.

The shop is just two doors away from the council-run Unity youth club.

Dawn’s shop Homespun crafts has gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition of protest. Petitions are also in Stephens jewellers and Cafe 3.

They have only a few days before the deadline for objections so are urging people to sign quickly.

Bletchley and Fenny Stratford is also “fiercely opposed” to the application.

They fear children and vulnerable adults could be exploited and crime and disorder could increase.

Another gambling licence could mean the number’s up for the high street as yet another retail unit is lost, say the objectors.

Ironically the owners of Mob Doc store were granted a change of use application last November – for ‘financial and professional usage’ and a small extension.

Said Dawn McHugh: “We assumed it would be a financial services unit. But a betting and gaming shop is about as far from that concept as it is possible to be... We just hope MK council will refuse this.”