Fears over number of gambling outlets in Swindon town centre

There are 14 betting shops in the SN1 postcode, including three on Bridge Street, all next to each other.

The Ara Recovery For All organization is based in the South West and offers free advice and support on gambling issues.

Ara gaming services manager Guy Hawker said: “Living closer to gaming establishments in areas of high density of gaming opportunities may be associated with an increase in gaming behaviour.

“People who live within 0.7 kilometers are thought to be twice as likely to engage in problem gambling as someone who lives more than 3 kilometers away. The likelihood of 18- to 21-year-olds having a gambling problem can increase by around 39 percent.”

Guy said the organization has supported around 60 people in Swindon so far in 2023/24, but there has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of people accessing support across the south west.

Swindon Advertiser:

The advertiser asked on Facebook if there are too many betting shops in Swindon town centre.

Gavin Rozee wrote: “Yes, and gambling is advertised too much on TV and social media. It should be illegal”.

“Betting shops and drinking places, too many,” said Liz Woodman. “We need more stores. It’s a dirty, depressing place.”

Donna Green added: “The town has become a joke. There’s nothing there, but if you want a vape shop, a betting shop or a cafe, you’re fine.”

But Jordan Mckinley wrote: “Maybe they will reduce the rent and more companies could rent the stores.”

“It’s our fault that downtown is what it is, we’ve allowed the internet to take control of our lives through online shopping,” Trevor Nelson said.

  कान दर्द को हल्के में न लें, क्योंकि हो सकती है इस गंभीर बीमारी के लक्षण

Christian Kostiuk added: “You have the option to frequent them or not…”

And Guy explained: “Research carried out by Nottingham Trent University showed that an increase in the number of betting shops within a community can be a cause of increased crime in the neighbourhood. With each unit increase in betting houses, crimes such as shoplifting, anti-social behavior, public disorder and theft may increase.

“People who experience gambling-related harms may often have a parent who gambled, were introduced to gambling at a young age or experienced early gains, peer pressure, or may be more impulsive or engage in higher risk behaviors.

“Betting shops alone do not increase crime rates, but they are often concentrated in deprived areas and, with austerity and the cost of living crisis, can increase the risk of gambling-related harm.”

You can find more information about Ara and safer gambling at www.recovery4all.co.uk

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