BETTING shops have always been a staple of our high streets and despite the continued regeneration of Bracknell and Wokingham it is no different in our towns.

Bookies have seen numbers decrease in recent years but both areas still boast several sites – although surprisingly neither include a casino.

Both Bracknell Forest and Wokingham Borough councils have been discussing licensing matters for gambling in their respective jurisdictions, so we have rounded up all the betting shops in the area.

There are eight betting shops in our area, five are in Bracknell, and there is one each in Wokingham, Ascot, and Twyford.

You can see a list of where these shops are at the bottom of this article.

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The number of betting shops have been counted after the licensing committees of Bracknell Forest Council and Wokingham Borough Council both observed their statements of Gambling Principles this week.

Councils are required to publish a statement of gambling principles at least every three years under the Gambling Act 2005.

There are no casinos in Bracknell or Wokingham, with the closest ones being located in Reading.

Earlier this month,  the Ladbrokes in High Street, Bracknell, came under fire from one customer who claimed the site ‘refused to pay’ the Easthampstead resident his winnings.

PIC

Gambling has also faced increased regulations this year.

Scratchcards are a popular form of gambling which do not require a licence to sell, and can be found in most convenience stores, grocery shops and supermarkets.

Businesses used to be able to sell scratchcards, including cards from the National Lottery  to those aged 16 upwards.

However this month the age limit for the purchase of scratchcards was raised to 18, meaning 16-17 year olds are no longer allowed to play.

The online sale of scratchcards was also restricted to those 18+ in April this year.

The restriction on the sale of scratchcards was decided by the Government in December 2020.

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For the National Lottery, a single licence for scratchcards is held by its operator, Camelot, which then allows retailers who want to sell its scratchcards to apply. In order for them to be approved, the retailers have to sign a ‘Retailer Agreement’.

On approval, a National Lottery terminal is then installed for people to play. If there is evidence of malpractice and breaches of the retailer agreement, the National Lottery will remove the terminal.

Bracknell Forest Council’s licensing committee met to review the statement of gambling principles yesterday (Thursday, October 21) and Wokingham Borough Council’s committee  on Wednesday, October 20.

In both cases, the statement of gambling principles have to be approved at a full council meeting.

Betting shops in our area 

  • Ladbrokes, High Street, Bracknell
  • Ladbrokes, Priestwood Square, Bracknell
  • Jennings Bet, High Street, Bracknell
  • Coral, 11 Great Hollands Square, Bracknell
  • Coral, Birch Hill Shopping Centre, 98 Liscombe, Birch Hill Road, Bracknell
  • Ladbrokes, 31 Peach Street, Wokingham
  • William Hill, 49a High Street, Ascot
  • Coral, 15 London Road, Twyford