“The Campaign for Fairer Gambling is not anti-betting shop and is in favour of fair and open gambling for all. The bookmakers, like any other business with a retail estate, review their shops annually and make changes based on which ones are performing well and remaining profitable. The announcement on shop closures recently did not reference the new shops opened during the same period and those with applications pending. It also neglected to mention that many staff will be redeployed to these other locations.
If shops do close, it is unlikely to be because of an increase in tax on FOBTs, when it will cost William Hill an extra £22m — as last year they made £226m profit. The Campaign is focused on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) and not betting shops directly. These machines are causing lower overall numbers of betting shop jobs and encouraging the practice of lone staffing to keep overheads down and profitability up.
The Campaign is very concerned about the impact of self-service betting terminals, which are designed to reduce staffing requirements, and has actively campaigned against single staffing. It is also a very public supporter of David Lammy MP’s Early Day Motion to prevent lone working in betting shops. Any rhetoric which links FOBT restrictions with job losses is not in the long-term interests of betting shop staff.”