Greg Smith MP has visited the Coral shop in Princes Risborough, meeting the local manager and regional manager, to discuss how they have managed to successfully re-open in a Covid-secure way, what the current restrictions means for their regular customers and also hear about the considerable steps they are taking to identify and help the small number of customers who get themselves into difficulty with gambling.
Joining Greg on the visit was the Chief Executive Officer of the Betting and Gaming Council Michael Dugher.
Greg said: "Our High Streets are a balance of retail, hospitality, charity, services like banks, and a bookies is an important part of that mix. Listening to the manager, it was interesting to hear how many of his regular customers are itching to get back to being able to visit, see friends and watch the racing or other live sport in store (all unavailable under current restrictions that only allow a brief visit of no more than 15 minutes to place a bet or use a machine with no live television).
"Millions of Brits enjoy a bet every year, and do so responsibly. The industry also provides jobs and adds significantly to HM Treasury each year.
"For the very small minority for whom gambling can lead to difficulties, I was very pleased to hear the steps Coral and the wider gambling industry are taking to prevent problem gambling and help those who are in need of support. from schemes such as the "self-exclude" programme, to being able to set limits on machines, very visible "Gamble Responsible" advertising all around the store, to more direct intervention from staff who get to know their customers, an enormous amount is being done."