In the poorest areas of Glasgow there is an obvious a lack of amenities and opportunities for local people.

Good quality jobs may be scarce, housing may be in limited supply and community and leisure facilities few and far between.

The scarcity however, doesn’t extent to betting shops and what is not lacking is the opportunity to play fixed odds betting machines in a bookmaker shop.

In Glasgow’s poorest areas, those in the top 5% most deprived, betting shops are plentiful.

In Saracen Street, Possilpark, the seventh most deprived area in Scotland, there are three betting shops within a minute walk of each other.

A William Hill on one side of the street is just 110 metres away from another Willam Hill diagonally across the road.

Usain Bolt could get from one to the other in ten seconds.

In between sits a Ladbrokes.

Each has the maximum four FOBTs and more than half of them were busy on a wet Wednesday lunchtime.

In Springburn, a mile or so north east. Another deprived part of the city the picture is similar.

It is in the worst 5% for income, employment health and housing. But it’s not deprived of betting shops and FOBTs

There is a William Hills in Springburn way outside the shopping centre and another 0.2m down the same street.

It takes less than three minutes to walk between the two.

If the eight FOBTs that offers is not enough then a Ladbrokes and Betfred in the same street doubles the capacity.

Further east in Shettleston is the fourth most deprived area in Scotland.

William Hill has two shops on the main road just 0.3miles apart. Ladbrokes has two half a mile apart and another two nearby around Parkhead Cross with less than half a mile between them.

At the other end of the deprivation spectrum in Hyndland you have to walks a considerably longer distance to get to a betting shop.

From Hyndland Road at Great Western Road the closest William Hill is one mile away in Dumbarton Road.

To reach a Ladbrokes s the distance would also be one mile.

Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Springburn and Possilpark, is concerned about the number of betting shops in areas of high deprivation.

He said: “I am well aware of the significant social issues caused by the proliferation of bookies in deprived areas, including many of the communities I represent across Maryhill and Springburn.

“Bookies are increasingly motivated by high stakes Fixed Odd Betting Terminals, often described as the crack cocaine of gambling.

“The money to be made by bookmakers is eye watering and threatens the health of individuals and communities, with people losing as much as £300 a minute on such machines.”

Mr Doris has met with the Gambling Commission to discuss further action on the issue and wants to see the maximum stake reduced to £2 to limit losses.

The UK government is looking at reducing the maximum stake from £100 down to between £2 and £50.

He added: “The pain and distress caused to individuals and families in some of our most deprived communities due to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals is self-evident, as well as unbalancing impact the proliferation of bookies have in our town centres.

“They should act now. A maximum stake of £2 is perfectly reasonable. I have already met with the Gambling Commission to discuss my concerns.

“I am now arranging a round-table event early in the new year with the Gambling Commission and elected representatives to see what we can do here in Scotland to tackle these very serious issues.”

Ciaran O’Brien, William Hill director of Communications, said: ““The Gambling Commission recently confirmed that betting shop numbers overall declined by 3.9% in the last year and this is a trend that is likely to continue for some years.

“The planning liberalisation made in 2007 did lead to increased shop numbers in some high footfall areas and under threat from challenger brands targeting city centre locations we did open some shops to protect local market share.

“This liberalisation has now been fully reversed with local authorities and the Scottish Government now having more powers than they have ever had before over betting shop planning and licence applications hence the downward trend we are now seeing.”

The betting shop industry defends the location of its shops. and says there are measures in place to deal with problem gamblers.

A spokesman for the Association of British Bookmakers said betting shops are a valuable asset to the city’s economy helping keep high streets alive.

He said: “Betting shops provide Glasgow with a valuable source of rent and rates and act as a magnet for other retailers at a time when many are closing because of online competition.

“At this time of uncertainty for the retail sector, betting shops continue to make a significant contribution to the city’s economy and retail mix, supporting almost 1,100 jobs and contributing around £24 million in taxes, including £2 million in business rates.”