Retail betting furthers "community activism" says ABB Scotland spokesman

Retail betting furthers "community activism" says ABB Scotland spokesman

Monday, June 18, 2018 Posted by Michael Lawson
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Ladbrokes Dunoon won the coveted community betting shop award.

Retail betting has helped harbour a sense of “community activism” according to Donald Morrison, spokesman for the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) Scotland.

He was discussing the topic in the aftermath of the ABB’s ‘Community Betting Shop of the Year Award’, which this year was won by the Ladbrokes Dunoon store.

Morrison told TotallyGaming.com: "I visit betting shops up and down Scotland and I've met some amazing characters, people who are committed to their customers and to their local communities. I wanted to recognise their achievements with the launch of a new award. It's very clear from all the entries we received that the staff are actively engaged in their local communities, either fundraising or volunteering for local charities.

“Often, they have grown up in the area and are well known in their local community. I was especially conscious of this in Dunoon where shop manager Lucy has worked in the same shop since she was 18 and is now retiring this year. The level of community activism in our shops is hugely encouraging and deserves to be recognised in this way."

Launched by the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) Scotland, the trade body for retail betting shops in Scotland, the competition aims to recognise the contribution betting shop staff make in their local communities through volunteering, fundraising and bringing people in the community together.

William Hill’s Johnstone shop won second place and Scotbet’s Selkirk branch third place.

Darren Wales, Regional Operations Manager for Ladbrokes in Scotland, added: “This is a true example of our betting shops being at the heart of their local areas, engaging in community spirit and helping good causes.  We are delighted that our colleagues' dedication is being rewarded and we would like to say a huge congratulations to them, for really going the extra mile.”

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) and one of the competition judges, said: “Betting shops are an important part of the fabric of our high streets, supporting local jobs, the retail sector and the public purse, but they also serve as important community hubs, a place where local people can meet, bet and socialise in a safe, friendly environment.

“All of the finalists underline the importance of betting shops to the communities they serve and I believe we should do more to preserve these shops, before another vital community asset is lost from our town centres.”

Totally Gaming says: The doomsday rhetoric would have you believe that British retail betting is a dying trade, but initiatives such as ABB Scotland’s ‘Community Betting Shop of the Year’ award show that these stores remain an integral part of local communities.

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