Safe Bet Alliance Launches Voluntary Code of Safety & Security National Standards for Bookmakers

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The Safe Bet Alliance, a collaborative initiative which includes the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB), Metropolitan Police, Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) and Community Union, has launched its Voluntary Code of Safety & Security National Standards for Bookmakers.

A single national standard for betting shop safety and security for the first time

The Safe Bet Alliance, a collaborative initiative which includes the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB - http://www.abb.uk.com), Metropolitan Police, Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) and Community Union, has launched its Voluntary Code of Safety & Security National Standards for Bookmakers. The result of more than 12 months discussion and negotiation within the Alliance, the Code sets out a single national standard for betting shop safety and security for the first time.

"The new Code will benefit betting shop staff and their employers in 3 ways,” said Patrick Nixon, Chief Executive of the ABB. “Firstly it sets out a voluntary minimum level of safety and security measures that we believe should be in place in all betting shops, for example specifying and enforcing a maximum till limit. Secondly it explains how to conduct a shop-specific assessment of safety and security risk. Thirdly it suggests additional measures that should be implemented based on the findings of the risk assessment, for example if a shop is identified as higher risk then security screens might be fitted at the counter."

Chris Cerroni, Head of Security at Ladbrokes PLC envisaged a fourth benefit for larger bookmakers: “Whilst the 5 major UK betting shop operators operate nationally, their premises are subject to inspection by Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) working for individual local authorities. By setting a single national standard, the new Code should remove the potential for confusion arising from variations between different local authorities and even different EHOs.”

Key to the effective implementation of the Code will be effective communication to betting shops, local authorities and regional police forces. With that in mind the ABB has arranged for every UK betting shop to receive a copy of the Code by the end of June 2010. LACORS will distribute to local authorities, and the police will be reached via the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

About the ABB (http://www.abb.uk.com)
The ABB is the UK’s leading trade association for operators of Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs). Its members include 4 of the 5 largest betting shop operators, and together operate some 7 100 of the nation’s approximately 8 500 LBOs.

About LACORS
LACORS (Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services) is the local government central body responsible for overseeing local authority regulatory and related services. “Regulatory Services” is the name given to a group of services which exist to ensure public, consumer, environmental and worker protection. These range from protecting consumers against illegal doorstop selling to checking hygiene standards in restaurants and food factories. Many of the regulatory services that LACORS support are delivered though councils’ environmental health and trading standards services.

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Tom Kenny
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