About us

ABB Scotland is the trade body for high street betting shops in Scotland, a sector which employs 5000 people and contributes £110 million a year in taxes and business rates every year. Our members include Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, Paddy Power, Scotbet and a host of smaller family run, independent Scottish bookmakers.

ABB Scotland promotes and represents the interests of the industry to decision makers and in the media. It also drives industry wide responsible gambling initiatives and makes regular submissions to the Scottish Government, UK Government and Gambling Commission on matters affecting betting shops.

Our members are regulated by the Gambling Commission and are subject to strict rules set out by the ABB in its Responsible Gambling Code. The Code covers a range of measures, including staff training, self exclusion, advertising, age verification and responsible gambling.

Betting shops were legalised in Scotland in 1961 and provide a safe environment where around 650,000 customers enjoy spending their leisure time and money in their local bookies.

With around 1000 shops in Scotland, crime levels are extremely low. Our members work closely with Police Scotland to ensure the safety of customers and staff, sharing intelligence and best practice through the National Bookmakers Forum. Recent figures show an 18% drop in recorded crime at betting shops from 2010 to 2015.

As well as making a substantial contribution to Scotland’s economy, our members also invest heavily in Scottish football from the grass roots to the top flight, including sponsorship of the SPFL and Scottish Cup. High street bookmakers also contribute to the success of Scottish horseracing through a compulsory levy and sponsorship of some of our most iconic race events, including the Scottish Grand National, Ayr Gold Cup and Lanark Silver Bell.

Our Scotland Representative

ABB activity in Scotland is overseen by Donald Morrison, a communications professional with almost 20 years experience in media relations and public affairs, including senior management roles. He has an MA Hons in History and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen and an LLM in International Law and Security from the University of Glasgow.


ABB in the news

"Interview with Donald Morrison, ABB Scotland" Read here >

"The stakes are high for bookmakers."
Read the article >

"Sniffy middle-class forget that betting shops helps keep town centres alive." Read the article >

"Closing high street shops will not make problem gambling go away."  Read the article >

"Don't bet on the bookies being able to beat tax hikes and over regulation." Read the article >

"Tough times ahead for independent bookies but don't write them all off." Read the article >


ABB has produced a number of useful guides which highlight its commitment to responsible gambling and the positive economic contribution the industry makes.

Myths & Machines >
Why High Street Betting Shops are the Safer Bet >
Betting Shops - Supporting Scotland's Economy >

ABB Scotland e-bulletin

ABB Scotland produces a quarterly e-bulletin where you can keep up to date with our latest news, responsible gambling initiatives and opinion columns. The e-bulletin is available to individuals and organisations with an interest in the betting industry. To join our mailing list, simply enter your address below.

View our latest e-bulletin >