Petitioner: Jonathan McColl
01 October 2012
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to urgently review the correlation between the prevalence of betting shops and cheque cashing / pay day loan type shops on our high streets and in our communities, and high levels of poverty and deprivation and to use any evidence found in such a review to support the introduction of new planning powers for councils and other empowered authorities to refuse permission for premises of these types on the grounds of overprovision; when supported by robust statistical evidence of high levels of deprivation in communities to be served by such establishments.
The petition speaks for itself and I would welcome comments, questions and public debate on this issue.
I would like to make it clear that I am not anti-gambling. I have used my local betting shops and sometimes bet online on football matches.
But I recognise that problem gambling causes significant issues for individuals, families and communities, and the prevelance of betting shops, increasing availability of access, does not help people overcome their problems.
For those with the most serious problems, cash advance / pay day loan shops next door to betting shops do not help, and when people get into financial difficulties, the high interest, excessibve charges and agressive collection policies only exacerbate the problem.