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Odds are even in big betting battle

PUBLISHED: 11:48 11 May 2007 | UPDATED: 08:53 21 July 2010

PROTESTERS are hedging their bets that they might see a historic victory tomorrow when they contest plans to build a betting shop in their street...

PROTESTERS are hedging their bets that they might see a historic victory tomorrow (Friday) when they contest plans to build a betting shop in their street.

Residents living near Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton, hope that magistrates will throw out an application by Pridmore Bookmakers to open what will be the third betting shop in the same street.

Nick Mathiason, of Rushmore Road, says the decision rests on a knife edge.

"We are up against it because as far as we are aware the magistrates have never rejected a proposal for a betting shop before," he said.

"However, we know they have never faced this kind of opposition."

The mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, has supported the residents' campaign and has written a strong statement against the licence.

In his statement, which will be read out in court, Mr Pipe criticises the gambling laws that currently do not allow local authorities to have a say on whether or not licences are granted.

"It is very frustrating that we, as locally elected representatives, are unable to respond to the wishes of residents in cases like these," he said. It is thought that Mr Pipe may even go along to Thames magistrates' court tomorrow to hear the outcome.

Two William Hill betting shops are already operating in Chatsworth Road.

Shaun Pridmore, of Pridmore Bookmakers, has defended the plans for a third shop in the street, saying he wanted to offer gamblers more choice.

FOR THE FULL STORY SEE THIS WEEK'S GAZETTE AVAILABLE NOW.

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