It looks like Glasgow can boast the highest numbers of payday lenders and bookies in the whole of the United Kingdom. According to research, the Scottish city is the capital of quick loan shops and bookies. What’s more, it seems that birds of a feather flock together. According to unidentified campaigners, payday lenders often set up shop next to bookies on the high street. What campaigners call a “worrying combination,” is the temptation the gamblers would have to pop out of the bookies to get some more cash, and then return to their gambling. A vicious circle ensues.
Payday lenders and bookies: Let’s look at the numbers
We already know that Glasgow is in the lead with both payday lenders and bookies. There are a whopping 51 payday lending shops in Scotland’s biggest city. Birmingham takes second place with 45 lending shops even though it has twice the population of Glasgow. Scotland’s other big city, Edinburgh, is home to 28 payday lending stores. Glasgow also takes first prize with the highest number of bookies. The city is home to 243 betting shops. Birmingham once again comes in second with 186. The city of Liverpool has 168, and Edinburgh has 114 betting shops. This information was compiled by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, who are concerned that,
“The high number of betting shops alongside payday loan shops across Glasgow is a worrying combination and will have serious social consequences unless curbed.”
What happens when payday lenders and bookies set up shop alongside each other?
When payday lenders and bookies do business next to each other on the high street, it is very easy to blame them both for perpetuating a downward spiral to poverty. A spokesman for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, Adrian Parkinson, expressed concern that highly addictive casino gaming machines in bookies that next door to payday shops would have “serious social consequences.” The UK government has revealed that betting shops will have to apply for planning permission before opening up shop.
Susan McPhee of Citizens Advice Scotland spoke of the problems of poverty,
“We have eight CAB’s in Glasgow and all of them report that they are seeing higher numbers of people in poverty than ever before.”
Gamblers Anonymous released a statement saying,
“More and more people are coming to Gamblers Anonymous because of things like fixed odds betting terminals.”
In the end, it is the responsibility of each person to conduct their lives according to what they believe is right or wrong. Nobody is being tied to a gambling machine or marched into a payday lender. People who can’t stop gambling have a problem with addiction, not payday lenders. People who are not able to make ends meet and resort to high-interest loans are a commentary on an economical, social situation that politicians are paid huge amounts of money to solve. Would they perhaps like to lend some cash to the family that can’t feed their kids?