Call for action over problem gambling

I am calling for firm action against the proliferation gambling shops in Dundee and for strong action to help those people in Dundee who have problems with gambling.

Far too many people have problems with gambling these days and action needs to be taken to alleviate these problems. I think that Dundee City Council needs to take action to ensure that people with gambling problems receive support which will assist them in overcoming their problems.

There is a need to revisit the legislation around gambling. In recent years we have seen a proliferation of betting shops and a wider range of things that can be gambled on. I am very concerned about the longer and longer opening hours of betting shops and the way in which this has led to people betting money which they can ill afford. I am particularly worried about gambling machines in bookmakers shops where it is possible to lose large amounts of money in a very short space of time. Greater regulation of these machines is needed.

It seems to me that when I watch television these days that every other advert is for gambling. These adverts need to be regulated in a more effective way than they are now. Big businesses are profiting from the money of some of the poorest people in our society and there is a need for more regulation. It is wrong for some to profit from the misery of others.

I don't want to stop people having an occasional flutter on the horses or whatever but we need to recognise the misery that problem gambling can cause in our society. I want to make sure that our shopping centres are vibrant but I do wonder about the number of bookies shops in some areas and I would say that there is a strong argument that planning or licensing legislation should be used to make over-provision an issue that could be used to prevent the on-going proliferation of bookies shops on some of our High Streets.