Scotland to reduce betting shops

The SNP will face a conference to define legislation against betting shops.

Scotland.- The Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Glasgow Southside Constituency Association are facing a conference demand to debate the clampdown on betting shops ditched in February last year. The project was proposed to reinforce the prohibition against bookmakers to install further betting shops.

Scottish councils are demanding more power by the SNP to prevent the expansion of gambling in the country. Delegates at the party’s conference could set a new hierarchy to legislate the activity in each community.

Under new laws, local authorities would prevent so-called “clustering” of bookmakers. The demanders have warned that damage caused to communities by gambling outlets should be viewed as a “health and welfare issue.”

Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour’s inequalities spokeswoman and a chartered town planner, said the Scottish Government had “run out of excuses.” She added: “SNP activists have lost patience with ministers and in their frustration are seeking to force the issue at SNP conference this week. Their disappointment is shared by communities and campaigners across Scotland.”

A loophole means that bookmakers do not need planning permission to open a shop if they take over a premises previously used for ‘financial or professional services’. It means businesses can take over buildings such as former banks or estate agents and transform them into betting shops, bypassing councillors.