Betting shop increase spark gambling concerns

Betting shop numbers have increased. Picture: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

Betting shop numbers have increased. Picture: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing - Credit: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

Betting businesses are becoming more common in North Somerset, despite growing concerns over gambling addiction.

Latest figures show North Somerset has 25 betting shops, up from 20 in 2017 according to the Office for National Statistics.

The total is made up of casinos and arcades, in addition to bookmakers.

Simon Stevens, NHS England's chief executive, said: "The links between problem gambling and stress, depression and mental health problems are growing and there are too many stories of lives and families destroyed."

Marc Etches, chief executive of charity Gamble Aware, fears the rise of online betting is exacerbating the issue.

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He added: "If you're a problem gambler, it's likely you could be gambling in a variety of different ways.

"Having a highly regulated and fair environment for gambling is essential, and customer safety should always be of the utmost importance."

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