Simon Read: Is this more proof linking gambling and payday lenders?

The people's champion

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The Independent Online

I was in Newcastle this week, and came across a branch of payday lender The Money Shop. Like many other payday lenders I’ve seen, it’s positioned next to a bookies.

As regular readers will recall, I’ve spotted similar coincidences in several locations across London and have been sent pictures from Carlisle and Canterbury, where the expensive lenders are located next to bookmakers, so have started to keep an eye out when I visit other towns and cities.

While I’m now expecting to find the two completely different businesses clustered together, it’s still disappointing to turn a corner and discover that it’s happened yet again.

Whether the bookie or lender was there first is largely irrelevant. If either is targeting the customers of the other, then I find that unacceptable.

Borrowing money to gamble is either an act of desperate folly, or a sign that you’ve got a serious problem.

While the payday lending sector is currently being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading, I’d like to see a crackdown on just where they can put their branches.

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