Buckingham MP Greg Smith believes that the ‘reopening of betting shops is good news for the wider high street’, following the last three lockdowns due to the pandemic.

In an article that was published on Conservativehome.org on Wednesday, June 16, the 42-year-old revealed that the reopening of the bookmakers across the country on Monday, April 12, is important for the social wellbeing of people within his constituency.

He also praised the work provided by bookmakers in the UK to help those who are fighting an addiction to gambling.

An excerpt from the article reads: “I regularly visit high streets and retailers in my constituency to see how the pandemic has affected them and how reopening is going.

During the first lockdown, there were many offerings to help those with gambling addictions 

“Recently on a visit to Princes Risborough high street, it was brilliant to see the vibrant high street buzzing, with shops opening their doors and finally being able to trade again.

“Along with Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, I visited the local Coral betting shop to chat with staff about what it was like being back at work for the first time this year.

“It was great to see customers having a flutter and enjoying some banter with friends, and also reassuring to witness the anti-Covid measures they had put in place, like hand sanitisers and Perspex screens, to ensure the safety of staff and punters alike.”

Following the inaugural shutdown on Monday, March 23, 2020, many people all over the UK struggled to get to grips with either working from home, being made redundant, being put on furlough or having their privately owned business close for an undisclosed amount of time.

This led to several months of finical uncertainty.

Things did pick up in July 2020 when shops were able to reopen before a spike in cases and deaths led to a second lockdown in November of that year.

Restrictions were again lifted in December but were put back in place on January 4, 2021 for nearly three-and-a-half months.

When restrictions lifted last summer, Buckinghamshire Council encouraged residents to shop at local businesses 

It wasn’t until April 12 this year when non-essential shops reopened before stage three of restrictions came into place on Monday, May 17.

And even though all forms of lockdown were due to be lifted on Monday, June 21, concerns regarding a new variant of the virus mean ‘Freedom Day’ was been pushed back to Monday, July 19.

Despite this, shops have remained open with Mr Smith believing that the bookies are playing a huge role in keeping the high streets alive across the UK.

The piece continued: “For so many of my constituents, going to the bookies is part of their social life and part of having fun, and I’m delighted that they can do so once again with the draconian measures now lifted.

“And while the vast majority of people who enjoy a bet do so perfectly safely, I was also impressed by the responsible gambling initiatives the Coral shop had put in place to provide help to those who need it.

“I have no doubt that the mention of betting shops has raised one or two eyebrows, but the reality is they are part of a healthy high street mix.

“The reopening of betting shops is good news for the wider high street.”

To read the full piece, click here, and to help those with gambling addictions, go to, www.begambleaware.org.