MP backs tackling betting now
Margaret Ferrier MP has welcomed plans to give councils more powers to tackle problem gambling.
A Holyrood committee has backed proposals that will let local authorities block any change in premises to a betting shop.
Ms Ferrier, who has previously spoken out against fixed-odds betting terminals, hopes South Lanarkshire Council will use the powers to tackle the clustering of betting shops.
She said:“It is incredibly welcome news that South Lanarkshire Council will soon have the power to stop the clustering of betting shops in our communities; a practice which has a very clear and disproportionate effect on our most deprived communities.
“Many people enjoy a casual flutter, but the proliferation of betting offices in close proximity on main streets has led to serious problem gambling and household debt for too many.
“During my time listening to evidence about fixed-odds betting terminals with the all-party group on gambling, I have seen first-hand of the enormous negative impact that gambling can have on lives, and welcome any move to protect vulnerable people.
“Councils will now have the power to set limits that work and prevent reckless clustering – a big step forward for our communities.”
The decision was taken last week by the delegated powers and law reform committee.