Monday, 11 February 2013

Adult Gaming Centre


Anybody know what one of these is?  (And what other sorts of gaming centre are there?  Teenage?  Pre-school?)  Not having a gambling gene in my body (all right, I have bought the occasional lottery ticket, and actually won ten quid once; and I drew Kauto Star three years running, from 2008, in the Boxing Day family sweepstake on the King George VI Chase, but that doesn’t really count), I’d imagined it would be some kind of amusement arcade, with fruit machines and pinball tables and suchlike.  Turns out there’s been progress since those days.  Things called Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) allow you to stake up to £100 a go on a sort of electronic poker game, which lasts about twenty seconds, usually helps itself to your C, and invites you to have another try.  Nice way to while away an evening, and your benefit cheque.  

Anyway, it seems we are to get one, just up the Oxford Road.  The site is a few doors from a charity drop-in centre catering for vulnerable people, which was obviously a plus factor in the developers’ choice of location.  (That it’s also almost opposite the police community office may have escaped their notice, but that doesn’t really matter, it’s hardly ever open.) 

Alan, whose role in life is to monitor planning applications and drum up opposition to them, informed us of this at our Neighbourhood Watch meeting the other evening.  The original application had been unanimously thrown out on referral to the planning committee, but the developers of course appealed, and an anonymous Inspector in Bristol, who’d never been to the area let alone talked to the residents, rubber-stamped it.  Our only recourse now would be to take it to the High Court, which I don’t think we could afford at about £12,000. 
 
The brilliant police representatives at the meeting told us that, regretfully, they were not allowed to add their voice to the chorus of objections, as the premises had no previous record of association with anti-social behaviour.  Well, it was a fitness centre until recently, and before that a haberdashery.

10 comments :

  1. Thin end of wedge. Soon it will be a Lap Dancing establishment next door and - oh I hope not - A STARBUCKS. The shame, the shame....

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  2. Well, we certainly have a few of them in America- quite a number in my state of Minnesota, they call them Casinos here. Oh so many pros and cons on this. I for one never go to any here, but have been known to visit a few in Las Vegas, but mostly to people watch! I'm not a gambler (thank goodness it's already hard enough to make ends meet right!) Guess you shall see how it goes soon enough!

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  3. I suppose the other thought would be the sort of amusement arcade where we used to let our children loose with £1-worth of pennies as a great treat. We didn't think it through - could have turned them into hardened gamblers. But the FOBTs don't sound much fun really.

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  4. Are you sure you don't toss your carkeys in a bowl?

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  5. A proper casino would be more fun, you could dress up as 007 and bet on black 13. Think of the use you could get out of your black tie.

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  6. There was an Ann Summers-style shop across the road, in between an afro hair stylist and a halal butchers. It closed down, presumably from lack of clientele - if you've ever visited West Reading you'll know what I mean - and I confidently expect the gambling den to suffer the same fate.

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  7. In the good old days casinos used to be open after the pubs closed, and serve sandwiches to members.
    Food not FOBTS!

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  8. I bow to your superior experience, Macy.

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  9. I can imagine a lot of people who didn't have a use for the Anne Summers shop seeking consolation in a gambling den - after all it only takes one to gamble.

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  10. You have a vibrant imagination, mig.

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