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David Lammy MP discusses betting shops with President of the American Planning Association

28 November 2012

DavidLammyThe Rt Hon David Lammy MP met President of the American Planning Association (APA), Mitchell Silver, last week in the House of Commons and took the opportunity to discuss the way gambling, and particularly the issue of betting shops, is treated in the USA.

The APA is the largest membership body of planners in the world, and Mitchell Silver is its first African-American President.

Pictured (left to right) Mitchell Silver and Rt Hon David Lammy MP in Westminster Hall in Parliament.

Mitchell Silver, President of the APA, said: "Whilst many in the USA would see betting as a moral issue, it is legal in many areas. However, there is not widespread support for betting shops and we do not have the phenomena of betting shops on High Streets but there are parallels with other industries in the US. Some states have controls aimed at encouraging diversity within a local economy and these specify how close similar types of business can be to one another, and to schools and churches."

David Lammy MP said: "It was wonderful to meet Mitchell, the 'other African-American President', and discuss the parallels and differences in our planning systems. There is a very different attitude to gambling in the USA. The massive casinos of Las Vegas are the exception not the rule. In many states there is no gambling, yet there are 38 betting shops in Tottenham, one of the most deprived constituencies in the UK, and their proliferation has ruined our once vibrant High Streets. I can't help thinking that in this respect at least, there are things that we can learn from the US."

Mr Lammy has made calling for a change in the law to stop betting shops taking over High Streets one of his priorities for the 2012, and has raised the issue in Parliament several times.

Learn more about Mr Lammy's stance on betting shops here.

Mitchell Silver's visit has been organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the membership body of planners in the UK. During his short visit he gave several lectures across the UK, and attended a meeting of the committee of MPs who are scrutinising the Growth and Infrastructure Bill in Parliament.