Today during Culture, Media and Sport questions, I asked Hugh Robertson MP, the minister responsible for gambling, the following question:
"We all know—there is bags of evidence—that gambling is blighting people’s lives, and blighting our high streets too, given the prevalence of betting shops. We need only look down our own high streets; we do not need a research project to see what is going on. The Government say that they want localism and that they are in favour of local people having a say, so will they change the planning laws so that local people have the power to prevent any more betting shops from opening up on their high streets if they do not want them?"
Hugh Robertson replied that the government would support such a move if there were evidence to support it, but there wasn’t currently any such evidence.
You can read the full exchange on the Parliament website.