FALKIRK COUNCIL GIVEN NEW POWERS BY HOLYROOD OVER PROBLEM GAMBLING
Thursday, 12 January 2017 11:32
Falkirk Council will be given powers to tackle problem gambling after a Holyrood committee backed changes to planning rules.
Under new rules councils will be able to block any change in premises to a betting shop, allowing Falkirk Council to tackle the clustering of betting shops.
SNP MSP for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald, has welcomed this devolution of powers, and has supported the campaign against the clustering of betting shops and fixed-odds betting terminals, which are connected to problem gambling and personal debt.
Commenting, Angus MacDonald MSP said:
“It is great news that Falkirk Council will have the power to stop the clustering of betting shops in our communities, a practice which has disproportionately affected many of our most deprived communities.
“While plenty of people enjoy a casual flutter, the proliferation of betting offices – often concentrated together – has led to serious cases of problem gambling and debt.
“Falkirk Council will now have the power to set limits that work and prevent reckless clustering – a big step forward for local communities across the Falkirk District. I hope Council officials and Councillors will make full use of these new powers.”