Merkinch Gamble Support Week was organised between the ABB Scotland, addictions charity For the Right Reasons and Paisley charity RCA Trust.
Scotland.- A responsible gambling campaing has been praised in Scotland despite only six people attended to seek help. The Merkinch Gamble Support Week was ran last month between the Association of British Bookmakers in Scotland (ABB Scotland), specialists in addiction support Paisley charity RCA Trust and For the Right Reasons, an addictions charity.
Bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes also took part of the initiative, which was the first of its kind in the country. As Highland News reported, it originated as a response to controversy over the number of betting facilities in Merkinch, where there’s three shops with 12 fixed odds betting terminals.
Even though only six people attended and asked for help during the course of the week, the director of For the Right Reasons, Richard Burkitt, said it was beneficial: “I think the campaign was quite visible and just to have people of all ages in Merkinch thinking more about gambling was a good thing.”
He noted that, at least, it might let people know “there is help out there if they need it,” and commented he’d like Gamblers Anonymous to have “permanent presence in Merkinch” but explained that, until then, the charity will provide help to those in need.
Donald Morrison, ABB Scotland spokesman, said that problem gambling is not a real issue in the country but proved to be happy with the Gamble Support Week anyway: “The primary aim of this campaign was to raise awareness about the support networks that exist for the small number of people who may have problems with gambling and we believe the campaign achieved this aim through a combination of shop leaflets and posters, counselling support and outreach work with around 90 senior pupils from Inverness High School.”
“We now intend to roll out similar community campaigns across Scotland using the Merkinch pilot as a template for future campaigns,” Morrison commented.