Local bookmakers shops are important to our high streets and they provide jobs, and tax revenue as well as enjoyment. My SNP colleagues and I are keen to support local bookies – and indeed all local businesses – as part of our desire to support local communities in general. This support for local business is why the SNP Scottish Government recently announced an extensive package of support for businesses in Scotland on business rates. With this support, 7 in 10 business properties in Scotland will pay the same or less in business rates than they did previously, and half of business properties in Scotland will pay no business rates at all.
However, people should be encouraged to gamble responsibly. Sadly, gambling addiction is a real problem which can be detrimental to communities and households across the country. The Scottish Government does use the planning system to tackle some factors which can lead to problem gambling, such as pay day lenders and an over-provision of gambling shops; and we believe this is a responsible approach, maintaining the balance between public health & wellbeing and supporting local employment.