'No casino' policy for Hastings set to be reaffirmed

Hastings council leaders have backed plans to renew the town’s ‘no casino’ resolution.
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On Monday (April 3), Hastings Borough Council’s cabinet agreed to give their support to renewing the council’s policy of refusing any applications for casino licences within the town.

This policy, which has been in place since 2016, needs to be renewed every three years and will go to a full council vote later this month.

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Cllr Ali Roark, lead councillor for environment, said: “Nine out of the 10 most deprived small neighbourhoods in the county of East Sussex are in Hastings and St Leonards. The only one that isn’t is Sidley.

Roulette wheel  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)Roulette wheel  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Roulette wheel (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

“I don’t think a casino would be of benefit to the town and I think it could cause real hardship for some of our residents.”

Council papers considered by the cabinet noted that those experiencing poverty have been shown to be more likely to suffer the adverse consequences of increased gambling. When coupled with the town’s higher than average levels of deprivation, this provided evidence in favour of maintaining a no casino policy, officers said.

This view was shared by cabinet members, who unanimously agreed to recommend the policy be renewed at full council.

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Cllr Judy Rogers, whose cabinet portfolio includes community safety, said: “[Gambling] is never a way out of poverty, although unfortunately some people seem to think it is a way, because it is easy money, but it just makes for more problems.

“Whilst we don’t want to turn into a nanny state, or a nanny town, we do have a duty of care to our residents.”