What will happen when council applies to itself for gambling licence?

A licencing sub-committee of Haringey Council, comprised of three Councillors, will on 10 April 2008, Hear an Application from Alexandra Palace Trading Ltd. (APTL) for a premises licence for off-track betting. What makes this unusual is that APTL is a t

A licencing sub-committee of Haringey Council, comprised of three Councillors, will on 10 April 2008, Hear an Application from Alexandra Palace Trading Ltd. (APTL) for a premises licence for off-track betting.

What makes this unusual is that APTL is a trading company controlled by Haringey Council and wholly owned by the Alexandra Palace Charitable Trust - again, controlled by Haringey Council.

Apart from these bare facts, the abuse of process seems high, even by Haringey Council standards (see attached letter - dismissed by Haringey Licensing Department).

In effect, the Council is applying to itself for a gambling licence; its likely that the Council will award itself a gambling licence.


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Licensing sub-committee C, which appears to be the committee hearing the application Thursday week, is chaired by a Trustee of the main Alexandra Palace Board, i.e. landlord of the premises to which the Application relates!

The off-track betting will take place in the Panorama room of our Charitable Trust and is seen as the beginning of the legislative process that will culminate either in (a) Haringey's first Casino in the Palace basement - much wanted by Firoz Kassam - or in a few years time, (b) Firoka suing Haringey if they refuse him casino approval after having already promised Firoka a small casino in the Lease for the whole Palace (user clause 3.11.2.6).

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The original Application was made in the name of Firoka, who are trying to buy the whole palace (rumoured sale price: £1.5m. Only. Known actual sale costs: £1.6 m. and rising).

The original application was turned down because Firoka warranted that they had the right to occupy the premises, even though a High Court had overturned the Lease just five weeks earlier. The Council evicted Firoka in early December and yet are currently begging them to stay (!).

The Application is in the name of the Council-controlled company APTL and they appear to be trying to help out their "preferred development partner" Firoka, but the licensing agent Trethowans appear to be acting for Ladbrokes.

Clive Carter

Member, SAP

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