Gambling is not something exotic as depicted in a James Bond movie, it is an addiction like heroin, and like heroin, destroys the lives of not only the addict, but also their families.
Gambling is not the glamour of Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, or the casinos, it is the betting shops and so-called adult amusement arcades.
Go into Aldershot, walk past the betting shops and adult entertainment arcades, note the Nepalese, staring like zombies into the screens. These are not people having fun, these are desperate junkies out for the next fix. They fit the image Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described of the Chinese opium dens frequented by Chinese and Sherlock Holmes, or Jo Nesbo in his Harry Hole crime novels.
In these gambling dens are high value slot machines with high value stakes. On casino machines, addicts can stake £100 every 20 seconds.
What has to be seen as insanity but all too indicative of the evil nature of the CondDem government, gambling dens are to be allowed to increase the size of payouts which increases the addiction (like a drug addict getting a bigger hit) to stimulate the market and boost profits.
Mark Henson, lost his job, his home, and came close to ending up in jail in order to feed his habit.
I tell people sometimes I slept with the devil. I did things I never thought I would stoop down to do. In the end, I just had to gamble to get the money to do it. I was no different from a heroine user or alcoholic.
I would lie and manipulate and even fool myself. I was in that much denial. If I earned $A500 a week, I gambled $A1500.
After 12 years of what he calls “reckless gambling,” and four years of recovery, Mark now helps others try to kick their gambling addiction.
A planning application has been lodged for what is jokingly called an adult amusement arcade in Farnborough town centre, Victoria Road, the former Real China, eat-all-you can Chinese buffet.
planning ref: 13/00759/COU
It is a sick joke to claim this will ‘preserve the vitality and vibrancy of the town centre’. Firstly the town centre has neither, it is a failing town centre due to a decade or more of crass planning decisions by a council hell bent on trashing the town centre, the latest of which was to approve the demolition of c1720s Tumbledown Dick, which gave the green light for unwanted developments as this application for a so-called adult entertainment centre. This would be symptomatic of a failing town centre. Diversity is to be encouraged, but not where it detracts from the viability and attractiveness of the town centre. A gambling den would do nothing to enhance the reputation of the town centre, though may well be commensurate with the reputation the town centre now has as the place locally to avoid.
Addition of yet another gambling den will will not increase diversity, not when there are already two betting shops, one within a few paces of walking, the other in the centre of town.
Gambling dens have a tendency to cluster in areas of deprivation. By draining the lifeblood out of a locality, they increase the deprivation.
It is Council policy to reduce deprivation, to date the actions of the Council have been to worsen deprivation, with attraction of low-paid, part time, zero-hours McJobs and the draining of money out of the local economy.
It can hardly be claimed, a gambling den will meet the community’s needs and services. Or if it does, then why not open up shop to supply the local junkies and crack heads, with a back of shop lab manufacturing crystal meths and crack cocaine?
40-50 gaming machines.
How does addiction benefit the community? But will increase crime to fuel the addiction. Social costs of family breakdowns. It will lead to debt, lost jobs, lost homes, homelessness.
There will be a cost to the local economy, as the addict lays his or her hands on whatever money he or she can to pour into the machines.
It is nonsense to claim will have no different impact on the area to when a restaurant. Visit the gambling dens in Aldershot and see the low life hanging around outside.
But as already noted, these arcades are not fun places to be, be they Farnborough, Aldershot or Las Vegas.
Las Vegas at 6-30am, a few hard core gamblers, still putting money into the slots, eyes staring blankly at the rotating numbers, still hoping for that payout that never comes.
…slumped over the slots like a tattered rebel flag after a battle. All their dreams of winning, and money and pride gone…only a crumpled body remained.
Contrary to misinformation being posted by local trolls, there was not two failed restuarants on the site. Real China was a very popular restaurant. It was then sold to Mimosa. They then relocated to Westgate (or Wastegate as retailers call it), in Aldershot.
One of life’s many ironies, the floor above the proposed gambling den, houses, or did when the ground floor was Real China, the local Probation Service, accessed down a narrow alley.
To object, please e-mail:
If you are a member of a local church or mosque, please alert to this application, and ask that everyone object both as individuals and as the place of worship.
Gambling dens, junk food joints, pound shops, tattoo parlours, pay-day loan sharks, cheap hotels, each reinforces the other, the low pay, mind-rotting employment, alienation, desperation, welcome to Farnborough.