Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Monday, 24 September 2012 15:23 UK

Members' business: Gambling proliferation

SNP MSP John Mason said "there is a darker side to gambling when it moves from the fun to addiction" during his member's debate on gambling proliferation on 25 September 2012.

Mr Mason's motion is calling for a review of the legislation on gambling in order to protect vulnerable people in Scotland.

In his motion he notes the recent comments made by the former Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman MP, when she said that the previous UK administration had made a mistake by allowing an increase in the number of betting shops on the UK's High Streets.

Mr Mason highlights a study by Professor Jim Orford of the University of Birmingham, which suggests that on average richer areas have around five betting shops for every 100,000 people, whereas less well-off areas have up to twelve.

The Shettlston MSP said schools teach about sex, drugs and alcohol so should they have a role to teach about the dangers of gambling?

Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham said whilst gambling was reserved to Westminster and the levers of control lay there, the Scottish government were determined to do what they could.

Ms Cunningham said "a wider debate on gambling is certainly worth having".

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