Campaign Launched against New Gaming Centre in Monmouth

A new amusement arcade and gambling centre is due to open in Monmouth, Wales. However, local residents are not at all happy about the news and have been making objections and compiling a petition.

Over 200 objections have been received and a petition with 419 signatures has been submitted to Monmouthshire council. The arcade and gambling centre is due to be opened on Monnow Street. A gaming licence has already been given by the county council.

The application came from Henry Danter who is the owner of Barry Island Pleasure Park. He’s keen to get started on this new project and is looking to make a “great success.” His hope is that his new venture will help boost the town centre.

Rather than being excited or at least just approving of the new venture, there are plenty upset at the news. There are fears over the impact that the arcade and gambling centre would have on the mental health of young people.

One of the objections says that it would be “a blight on the town.” It added that if approved, the venue would “encourage bad behaviour and enable those with gambling issues to have an easy outlet.”

The criticism continued with another objection saying it would “cause major financial problems to people who are already struggling due to the pandemic. It could trigger mental health problems as they get in debt.” A strange opinion considering those with a gambling problem can easily just stay at home and gamble online.

Another objectors include Hugo Hutchinson (head teacher at Monmouth Comprehensive School) and James Murphy-O’Connor who is the principal of Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools. They put in a joint objection and said the adult gambling centre “would represent a major safeguarding threat” and have a “negative impact” on the wellbeing of their pupils.
Another strange comment to make since Mr Danter has said you’d need to be 21 to enter the gaming centre.

The objectors do not want to see slot-machine gambling “normalised” and “highly visible in our High Street.” They then went on about a campaign to encourage pupils to walk or cycle to school. Heaven knows what that has to do with trying to trigger a bonus game on a slot machine.

The petition incudes statements such as the proposed gaming centre potentially being “harmful to what Monmouth is and how Monmouth delivers for its people”. It could even “seriously damage the fabric of the Monmouth community.”

Not everyone has this view though. There has been some support saying that “adults should have the choice to use this service or not.” Choice really is the key word, isn’t it? It’s not as people are going to be dragged in off the streets. Another supporter wrote that it will be “something fun” for the town.