Aiming to reaffirm the status of bookmakers as a hub of local communities, The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) are encouraging people to sign a petition in support of the ‘Back Your Local Bookie’ campaign.
Citing the interaction between the staff and the consumers, the campaign aims to assert the belief of the ABB that ‘responsible gambling is at the heart of the day to day running of betting shops.’
The campaign, which last year saw bookmakers deliver a petition signed made up of more than 325,000 betting shop staff and customers to Downing Street. Comes in anticipation of further regulations for betting operators, as the government recently concluded its triennial review of gaming machines stakes and prizes with a 12 week period consultation.
Nonetheless, in spite of the ABB’s constant warnings that it would lead to further shop closures and in turn job losses, it’s widely expected the government will not only increase regulations on the advertising opportunities for betting operators, but will also significantly cut the maximum stake of FOBTs.
A spokesperson for the ABB commented: “The number of bookies in the UK has halved since the 1960s and there is now a real danger that the number will halve again if the government restricts stakes on gaming machines to the lowest level.
“The singular focus on gaming machines in betting shops will not address problem gambling levels but it will result in the closure of 4,500 shops, the loss of over 21,000 good jobs and the loss of £290 million to horse racing by 2020.”
The campaign comes just weeks after the first ever ‘Responsible Gambling Week,’ which saw the industry united in ensuring that consumers were aware of the tools available to combat problem gambling.
The ABB spokesperson added: “Over 400,000 people have signed a petition in support of local bookies, we would encourage people to visit the website www.backyourlocalbookie.org and show their support before it’s too late.”