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A second gambling licence has been approved for Yeoville, raising concerns of residents regarding the socio-economic impact on the community.
THE Yeoville Bellevue Community Development Trust (YBCDT) is concerned that a second gambling facility has been approved for the suburb.

 

YBCDT executive director Maurice SmithersYBCDT executive director Maurice SmithersThe Gauteng Gambling Board has granted a licence for the establishment of Super Bets in Raleigh Street. It will be on the first floor of the building on the corner of Raleigh and Kenmere streets, next door to the new library and opposite the swimming pool and recreation centre.
 

Maurice Smithers, the executive director of the YBCDT, said the community was opposed to gambling and was trying to get the approval overturned. “At many meetings that were held in Yeoville Bellevue, the community expressed its opposition to the awarding of this licence,” he explained.

In an area that is already overburdened with various socio-economic challenges, Smithers believes that the establishment of the gambling outlet will have a negative impact. “It is inappropriate to have such a venture in this area as many people will end up spending money in a desperate attempt to improve their economic situation,” he said.

Yeoville has a predominately black poor and working class population.

He added that it was not necessary to have another gambling outlet in the area as there was already one a block away from the new venue. “Instead, we need more enterprises that add value to the community.”

Smithers said they were now considering making an appeal against the decision. “We will get a pro bono lawyer as the community does not have the money to go to court.”

Lucky Lukhwareni, the head of the legal unit at the Gauteng Gambling Board, said the board had followed all the steps stipulated in the National Gambling Act before granting the licence to Super Bets. The board had had a meeting with residents to listen to their objections, but had decided in favour of the applicant.

“The owner has a responsibility to ensure that no underage persons enter the premises,” Lukhwareni added. “Failure to follow the rules will result in them being charged and fined R10-million.”

According to the Act, an application for a licence must consider commitments made by the applicant in relation to black economic empowerment as well as to combating addictive and compulsive gambling. The socio-economic impact on the community must also be taken into account.

The owner of Super Bets, Philip Anastassopoulos, could not be reached for comment.

According to Smithers, the Anastassopoulos family also owns two supermarkets in Yeoville – Supa Saver and Food Town.

Comments regarding the gambling facility can be sent to the Yeoville Bellevue Community Development Trust at 18 Rockey Alley, 24 Rockey Street, Bellevue or emailed to ybcdt@yeoville.org.za. Faxes can be sent to 086 551 4990.

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