Gambling centre to be established in the former shoe shop

  • 2 min read
Gambling centre to be established in the former shoe shop

Slot machines will be installed at a former shoe shop in Cheltenham town centre following civic approval of plans for a gambling centre, despite nearby crime concerns.

Luxury Leisure has secured a premises licence for the former ShoeZone at 218 High Street, Cheltenham. This adult gaming centre licence permits the installation of gaming machines at the location.

Residents expressed concerns about potential crime, but the applicant argued that its outlets in more challenging areas faced no significant issues. The site will operate under the trading name Admiral, with planning permission allowing it to open from 09:00 to midnight Monday through Saturday, and 10:00 to 22:00 on Sundays.

Representatives from St Mathews and the Minster opposed the proposals during a Cheltenham Borough Council licensing sub-committee meeting on June 5, highlighting crime concerns. They noted that higher stake gaming machines might attract vulnerable gamblers and pointed out the proximity of the Minster to the site. “The Minster is very close to this site,” one representative said. “The Minster is aware first-hand of the crime and disorder in this area.”

They provided crime statistics, noting 298 crimes in October 2023, 283 in November, 335 in December, 317 in January, 292 in February, and 341 in March, marking the area as a crime hotspot. Specific incidents mentioned included a handbag theft at Christmas, a teenager beaten and robbed in December 2022, and an armed robbery of a bookmaker in 2023.