REGARDING the article on the 24-hour gambling venue in last week’s Guardian.

I would like to object to the application for a bingo premises licence made by Cashino Gaming Limited for Merkur Slots on Bridge Street.

One of my primary concerns is the proposed 24-hour opening times and what this means for vulnerable people, problem and compulsive gamblers who struggle with addiction and the misery this brings to themselves and their families.

These are people who gamble beyond their means and are not able to make informed or balanced decisions about gambling.

In particular, a venue open late at night after pubs and clubs close will absolutely worsen these decisions after consumption of alcohol for not only vulnerable people but anyone once their inhibitions have been relaxed and senses dulled from drinking.

For some people, having a drink and a playing bingo or slot machines may just be a part of a night out with friends.

But for many others both gambling and alcohol consumption can become a problem, especially at the end of an evening when more alcohol has been consumed.

For some, having consumed alcohol plays a massive part in affecting their capacity to control gambling.

The danger is they will spend far more time in the venue than intended and in turn spend far more money than intended, often more than they can afford.

With this, some will go on to experience severe changes in mood and behaviour as a consequence and go on to react violently to property and others.

The gambling related harm report from the House of Commons in connection with the local government guidance highlights several issues around problem gambling – including how gambling can affect or have an impact on children’s services, financial inclusion, housing and treatment services.

Such a venue will potentially create more at risk or problem gamblers, in turn putting further unnecessary strain on these services.

Gambling-related harm does not just affect the person gambling, it affects their colleagues and families as well.

It has a broader stroke than most people would consider and includes financial hardship, mental health problems, relationship breakdown, domestic violence, self-harm and suicide.

I can only imagine there is really only one motive or strategy of a 24-hour gambling site in Warrington.

That is to take advantage of either people affected by alcohol and in turn spending more than they would or people so desperate to gamble due to having a problem they need to frequent such a place at unsociable hours.

My secondary objection is that there are more than enough gambling sites or establishments available in Warrington town centre, with Buzz Bingo and slots hall at the Cockhedge Centre.

There are already two other arcades where slot or fruit machines can be played and there are at least four bookmakers in the town centre.

All of the bookmakers also have fixed odds betting terminals.

I believe that to be more than enough gambling establishments in Warrington, and there is no requirement for more.

JOHN WOODS Warrington