The Principal Licensing Officer introduced the report and in doing so, advised the Committee that the Gambling Act 2005 required the Council as a Licensing Authority to produce a Statement of Principles. The legislation further required the Council to review, determine and publish its Statement of Principle with respect to the exercise of its licensing functions every five years.
He continued to advice in line with the requirement to review the policy, a draft Statement of Principles had been prepared and was attached to the report. As part of this review interested parties would be consulted with including licence holders and their representatives, and the public.
The reviewed policy included the legislative changes in the following areas:
• Changes to the incidental non-commercial lottery made by the Legislative
• Reform (Exempt Lotteries) Order 2016)
• Updates to Travelling fairs, unlicensed (permit) Family entertainment
• Changes to the FOBT’s in betting shops.
• Inclusion of Area Profile.
The Principal Licensing Officer explained due to the change in betting stake from £100 maximum to £2 maximum for slot machines; which had been documented within the press, it was observed that gambling establishments such as betting shops had taken a hit. He further informed Members due to COVID-19 and the country being in lockdown a number betting shops within the borough had been forced to close.
The Chair of the Committee sought as to whether children being unsupervised in any gambling establishments was a concern for the council, and furthermore whether training on child sexual exploitation was given to owners of such shops. It was explained that all gambling establishments are in courage to undertake relevant training for their staff. He also advised the committee that any complaints relating to such concerns should be referred to the gambling commission.
Members asked for further clarity in relation to the consultation process; ensuring they reached the people within the borough who were of the need to know of such policy update. The Principal Licensing Officer explained the list of consultees included all responsible authorities under the Gambling Act, Members of the Council through the Licensing Committee, betting shops and other premises licences within the borough for sale or supply of alcohol. It was then queried as to whether schools would be involved in the consultation and therefore advising young people of the rules surrounding betting and gambling establishments. The Principal Licensing Officer explained that schools were not currently included, however they could be emailed or wrote to should Members wish this.
Members sought as to whether the council had any powers over the gambling advents shown for example during football match games on television. It was explained as these were a national adverts, the responsibility lied with the Gambling Commission should there be any complaints.
1. Agree for the reviewed statement of principles to go out to consultation.
2. That after consultation, relevant responses are reported to the Licensing Committee for consideration.
3. If no relevant responses are received during consultation then for a recommendation to be made to full council for the adoption of the statement of principles.