New research has seen an increase in the number of betting shops in the poorest areas of the UK, these include Glasgow, London, Liverpool, and Middlesborough.The UK government is in the process of reviewing the now outdated UK Gambling Act 2005, and the latest research needs careful consideration as high street retail outlets are declining and betting outlets still hold a majority over all eight of the UK’s biggest supermarkets combined.
The amenities available on the high street compared with betting outlets are disproportionate especially in the more deprived areas, compared to more affluent areas.In the poorer areas, food outlets make up just 10%, with a huge 34% occupied by amusement arcades, 30% bingo clubs, and 29% land-based casinos. More affluent areas of towns and cities have a far more even distribution of libraries and supermarkets.Half of the treatment centres for gambling-related harm can be found within walking distance to a gambling outlet and 10% of schools have a gambling establishment within a short walking distance, exposing young children in nearly 2,000 schools across the UK.
Lack of Positive Ammenities
The research clearly suggests a lack of amenities in poorer areas compared to more affluent areas with a more balanced range of amenities. The poorer areas have less access to facilities which would have a more positive change rather than outlets which could lead to making the wrong decision which could prove harmful. Although betting outlets do provide much-needed jobs in a more deprived area, it does not outweigh the potential harm to vulnerable people and creating higher levels of social problems.The Betting and Gaming Council have welcomed betting shops and commented on the revenue these outlets generate each year towards the UK economy with 119,000 jobs, £4.5B in tax, and £7.7Bn in gross value-added tax.