Gambling is on the increase, and the sensible money would be on the industry continuing to thrive as the country struggles to pull itself out of recession.
From April 2011 to March 2012, the British gambling industry generated a gross yield of £5.8 billion – £200 million more than in the previous year.
Online activity rose by eight per cent, with increases also in traditional betting (one per cent), bingo (two per cent) and casinos (nine per cent).
The lotteries sector climbed by 35 per cent, from £168.82 million in 2010/11 to £227.26 million in 2011/12.
It would seem that it has never been easier, or more socially acceptable, to enjoy a flutter. And yet in Dalkeith, where William Hill plans to open what would be a fifth bookies in the town, concerns have been expressed that such gains for the industry may come at a heavy cost to the local community.
Read full story in the May 23 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.