Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Thursday, 10 January 2013

Government to clamp down on the spread of betting shops

The government says it is prepared to bring in tough new laws to clamp down on the spread of betting shops.

Culture Minister Hugh Robertson made the comments during culture, media and sport questions on 10 January 2013.

Mr Robertson said ministers would look at giving people the chance to reject planning applications for betting shops on their high street if there was evidence that they encouraged problem gambling.

Shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman said the government should give more power to local people to veto planning applications for betting shops on their high street.

She told MPs: "We all know, and there is bags of evidence, that gambling is blighting people's lives and is blighting our high streets with the prevalence of betting shops.

"The government says it wants localism and it is in favour of local people having a say, so will it change the planning laws so that local people have the power to prevent any more betting shops opening up on their high streets if they don't want them?"

Mr Robertson replied: "The answer to that is yes, if the evidence supports that. But no government of any colour has ever produced a policy without the backing of real evidence to support it. Once we have that evidence we will proceed."

MPs finished the session by putting questions to women and qualities ministers.

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