Sportsbooks in Scotland operating in full compliance with British gambling laws were subject to increasing number of robberies. According to official figures, the number of robberies at the bookies grew from 25 in 2010 to 33 during the eleven months of 2011.
Scottish politicians are concerned and suggested an industry-wide approach to battle the problem. Back in 2008 a similar campaign led to significant decrease in the number of attacks on the sportsbooks outlets.
Labour MSP John Park told United Kingdom gambling news: “I intend to write to the cabinet secretary for justice, asking that the Scottish government convenes a meeting of all interested parties – particularly the betting shop companies and Community trade union – so that a strategic look can be taken at these figures for Strathclyde and others parts of the country.”
He went on to add: “If we can make that happen, I’m sure an industry-wide approach can be agreed that will tackle these problems head on.”
A special organization, the Safe Bet Alliance in London, has been successful in decreasing similar offences by 46 percent in 2010-11. It was mainly attributed to reducing the amount of cash available at the shops, new physical security measures and improved training of staff to identify risks quicker and act accordingly.
Scotland will most probably receive a similar plan, while extra problems of shops employing lone workers likely to be also solved by the campaign. The Community Union representative for betting shop workers on a nationwide basis, John Paul McHugh said: “The union believes that until betting shops completely remove the operation of lone-person working and beef up all other measures, we will not deal with the vulnerability of workers in betting shops.”
So far, no robberies have been reported at online sportsbooks in United Kingdom. Decide for yourself if it’s worth it to go down to corner bookie, when you have the world of online sports betting available from your PC.