LBO staff take 1m signatures to Downing Street

Betting shop staff are to present a petition signed by 1m people to Downing Street today in a bid to get the government to push back its current relentless changes to the regulation of bookmakers. Campaigns against FOBTs, so called ‘clustering’ of shops and the accusations that the industry is targeting poor areas has left the government feeling vulnerable to media criticism and, with a General Election on the horizon, David Cameron has found himself under pressure on the issue.

However the campaign from the bookmakers will say that tax and other changes are having ‘disproportionate unintended consequences on shops and jobs’ with more than 10,000 jobs and 2,300 shops now described as ‘at a tipping point’ following the Budget rise in betting-machine duty.

Given that the government is this week expected to announced further changes to the planning laws by putting betting shops into a separate ‘suis generis’ use class – a move that will give local councils far more powers in the planning process for new betting shops, with all the local political ramifications that would bring – it is expected that even more betting shop jobs will be at risk.


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