A betting store in Sheffield City Centre has been granted permission to expand by the council despite concerns raised over the location.

BetExtra, a family run bookmaker located on Market Place, have operated since 2013 and applied in October to expand their existing site.

Their application received multiple objections which were heard on Tuesday at a Council meeting, most of which were aimed at the location.

Susan Hird, Assistant Director at Public Health Sheffield said: “The area itself is not in a deprived area, however some of the surrounding areas are. There is evidence to show that rates of harmful gambling are over seven times higher in the most deprived neighbourhoods compared to the least deprived neighbourhoods.”

Charles Ritchie who founded the charity ‘Gambling With Lives’ in 2018 after losing his son to a gambling related suicide, said there are between 117 to 496 gambling related suicides in England every year.

Mr Ritchie also visited the site and said the overall feel of the shop was ‘run down’ and ‘shabby’. There was also no clear ‘extra resources to entrance monitoring’ between 3pm or 4pm on school/college days or anything at weekends.

The City Ward Councillors, Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership and ChangingSheff were also amongst those who added their objections.

A representative for BetExtra said the company is a family-based business which has operated in and around Yorkshire for many years and trades without issue in a number of locations.

The representative said: “Gambling at the moment in this country is a lawful, legalised and highly regulated activity that can be offered to people on the high street.

“A betting shop, like it or not, creates an environment where people like to spend time and relax. Most people gamble in a responsible way with money that they can afford and that they can enjoy. This isn’t a grant of an additional licence, it’s the creation of a better and more modern facility for the regular customer base that use the facilities.”

Councillor Abdul Khayum said after taking everything into consideration, they believed that by granting the licence it would not undermine the licensing objectives and thus granted the application.