Angus MacDonald, who represents Falkirk East, has endorsed rules that will allow councils to block any change in premises to a betting shop, allowing officials to tackle clustering and over-provision.
The SNP politician welcomed the move after a Holyrood committee backed changes to planning regulations.
He has also supported the campaign against the clustering of betting shops and fixed-odds betting terminals, which can be connected to problem gambling and personal debt.
Mr MacDonald said: “It is great news that Falkirk Council will have the power to stop the clustering of betting shops in our communities, a practice which has disproportionately affected many deprived communities.
“While plenty of people enjoy a casual flutter, the proliferation of betting offices – often concentrated together – has led to serious cases of problem gambling and debt. Falkirk Council will now have the power to set limits that work and prevent reckless clustering – a big step forward for communities across the district.
“I hope officials and councillors will make full use of these new powers.”