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By October 26, 2011News

According to the Hackney Citizen, there are around 400 more betting shops in London than there were a decade ago.  Now, Boris is on the case, calling for tighter restrictions to prevent this proliferation of bookies.

According to Bingo Supermarket News (there’s a publication for a ‘missing words’ round on Have I Got News For You? if ever there was one), ‘the Mayor has suggested that the large number of betting shops on high streets can “negatively impact on the vitality and viability of town centres and the quality of life of those living nearby”.’

Boris is echoing a call made by his Mayoral rival, Ken Livingstone, last year. The Mayor wants operators to be required to gain approval for each site and he has written to the government cat, Mr Pickles, asking that the national planning laws be reviewed.

Bozza said: “I recognise that betting shops have an important role to play in our culture and provide entertainment to many people. But there is a balance to be struck between having betting shops as a part of the high street retail mix and the negative impact they can have on shoppers and visitors when they start to dominate.

“Requiring operators to obtain planning permission seems a sensible way to achieve the checks and balances needed to ensure our towns remain attractive places to visit, shop and spend time in.”

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