Supporting community and economic development
Every year, around 650,000 people in Scotland visit a high street bookmaker. At a time when many town and city centres are struggling with the loss of familiar high street names and face increasing competition from out of town retail parks and online retailers, betting shops provide an important economic stimulus for the retail sector, attracting customers into our centres and filling the retail void left by the 2008 crash.
Indeed, studies show that betting shops add to the vibrancy of our town centres and generate footfall for other high street retailers. In a recent survey of customers by 'esa retail', 62% of customers said that visiting the bookmakers was the main reason for their trip to the high street, while 89% said they combined their trip with visits to other local businesses at least sometimes. In Glasgow, 39% of respondents said they usually spend more than £20 in other local shops.
"Bookmakers have a positive impact on pedestrian footfall, which should in turn help to benefit other shops in the area through linked trips."
Bookmakers also make a substantial contribution to the national economy. Across Scotland, betting shops employ 5,000 people and contribute around £235 million in taxes, business rates, rent, staff salaries and support for Scottish racing through the horse racing levy and media payments. Unlike many other retailers, bookmakers are exempt from the Small Business Bonus Scheme and therefore pay significantly more in business rates than many of their retail counterparts.
Celebrating success in the community
In communities across Scotland, shop staff are active in their local neighbourhoods, raising funds or volunteering for local sports clubs, charities and environmental projects. To celebrate the contribution betting shop staff make in their community, ABB Scotland launched its first ever Community Betting Shop of the Year award, attracting entries from across Scotland. Ladbrokes in Dunoon was named winner by an independent panel of judges, with William Hill in Johnstone and Scotbet in Selkirk taking second and third place respectively.