A SCOTTISH bookmaker has been sold in a pre-pack deal that has saved three quarters of its high street estate.

Scotbet Limited had been hit by increased competition, a shift towards online betting, and changes to the maximum Fixed Odds Betting Terminal stakes, it said.

Paul Dounis and Gareth Harris of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed joint receivers of Scotbet this week and the business was sold by the receivers to Scotb123 Limited, safeguarding 127 jobs, with 30 licensed betting shops continuing trading, while 11 will close.

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Mr Dounis, RSM Restructuring Advisory partner, said: “The business faced a number of changes to the trading landscape, like other businesses in the sector, and was unable to continue to trade.

“The sale of the business secures 127 jobs and it ensures continuity of the majority of the Scotbet shops.

“RegretTably this process has led to the closure of 11 stores, resulting in 27 redundancies.”

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John Heaton, chairman at Scotb123, said: "I am pleased that we have managed to save 30 of the Scotbet shops.

“This has been a very difficult time and I am particularly sorry for the staff in the branches which have closed.”

He added: “Independent bookmakers have been hit hard by increased costs and the reduction of the FOBT stake was the straw which broke the camel’s back.”