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Petition backing betting shops set for Number 10

Association of British Bookmakers chief executive Malcolm George
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A petition with more than 325,000 signatures will be delivered to 10 Downing Street on Friday morning calling on the government to support the betting shop industry.

The signatures were collected as part of the recent Back Your Local Bookie campaign and will be presented by shop staff and representatives from across the industry.

Bookmakers say the industry, which employs 43,000 people, has lost 300 betting shops in the last two years as a result of increased regulation and higher taxes and claim there could be more closures.

The government is currently examining submissions from a call for evidence on gambling, including a review of gaming machine stakes and prizes.

Association of British Bookmakers chief executive Malcolm George said: "Britain’s betting shops have been open for business on our high streets and in local communities since before The Beatles.

"They have a long record of ensuring customers can bet safely and responsibly and it is vital that the work of staff and the voice of our six million customers are not ignored.

"We hope politicians and the public will visit their local betting shop to see for themselves what a great community they are and talk to the staff and locals who enjoy their flutter at the bookies."

Vicky Knight, who works for independent bookmaker Jennings Bet, has signed the petition and said there had been fantastic customer support for the campaign.

She added: "They enjoy their local bookie and would be devastated, as would staff, if the government took draconian action against bookies.

"We care about our customers and we are there to help the very small number of customers who get into problems with their gambling."

We hope politicians and the public will visit their local betting shop to see for themselves what a great community they are and talk to the staff and locals who enjoy their flutter at the bookies
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