Allowing operators to decide “on commercial grounds alone” where to locate new betting shops has resulted in betting shops being disproportionately located in places where people can least afford to gamble: what is referred to as “clustering” or “bunching” www.suissecasinoenligne.com/bonus/. The Estates Gazette’s evidence showed that “more than half of the nation’s 6,000 bookies are in the UK’s most deprived areas”110, and that 56% of all the big four’s betting shops are located in the top 30% most deprived areas in England.111 78% of the stores of Paddy Power are located in the top 40% most deprived areas.
An article published in the Estates Gazette at the same time included the chart below showing that over 20% of betting shops are located in the top 10% most deprived areas, with only 2% in the 10% least deprived areas; in between there is a direct correlation.
Research by Landman Economics and Geofutures for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling has found a clear relationship between the extent of deprivation in local areas and the number of betting shops in those areas114. The industry is not, however, merely responding to the demand, it is to some extent driving it. Ease of access to betting shops incites and encourages gambling. This is an important social issue, and one way of alleviating the problem would be to increase the regulatory powers of local authorities. We deal with this in the following chapter.115