Thousands of betting shop customers in Scotland have backed a campaign to support their local bookie. Increased regulation and competition in the gambling industry have taken their toll on high street betting in the UK with more than 300 shops shut over the past two years, including dozens in Scotland.
A new website backyourlocalbookie.org has been set up to allow customers and staff to show their backing for the industry as the UK Government considers further regulation of betting shops.
Donald Morrison, spokesman for ABB Scotland said: “The high street bookie is an important part of the fabric of the high street. Tax hikes, rising costs and increased competition have forced more than 50 shops to close in Scotland. There is a real danger that more will go, with the loss of jobs, tax revenue and business rates. We are urging politicians not to put high street betting shops at risk through further regulation or tax rises.”
The campaign has received backing from Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Scotland’s Towns Partnership.
“Bookmakers are a key element of town centre life. As towns struggle through a period of intense change, we cannot afford to lose a stalwart of our town centres, our local bookmaker,” Phil Prentice, Chief Executive of Scotland's Towns Partnership.
Source: ABB Scotland