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.
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.