To receive and consider a report reviewing the changes in the Gambling Act.
The Committee received a report, as set out on Agenda pages 7-44 detailing the process of consultation for the review of the changes to the Gambling Act. Julia O’Brien, Principal Environmental Health Officer presented the report and
explained that the Council was required to review and consult upon its ‘Statement of Gambling Principles’ every three years from the date of adoption. The current Statement was published on 31 January 2013, so it was time to carry out a review and consultation in time for it to be re-published on or before 31 January 2016.
Julia outlined the main changes as listed below:
· The Local Authority’s approach to compliance and enforcement, how gambling activity was managed.
· The Local Authority’s expectations of operators. This could be in general terms – an expectation on all operators, or expectations of a sub-sector of the industry. Expectations might include the operator sharing information with the Local Authority, it might be participation in social responsibility schemes, hopefully creating a two way process between the Local Authority and the operators.
· By 6 April 2016 operators would be required to develop their own risk assessments. It was important that the Local Authority provided a clear indication of what factors, as a non-exclusive list, they expected them to take into account in their particular locality.
Julia went through the report pointing out the pages that contained any changes. These were:
· On page 18 of the Agenda there was a change in the dates and wording to read: “Our consultation will take place during September and October 2015 and we followed the Cabinet Office guidance on Consultation (published July 2012), which is available at: GOV.UK
· On page 19, number 4 ‘Local Area Profiles (LAP) was a new paragraph. Julia emphasized that although this new consideration was not a requirement, it was strongly recommended to be adopted.
· As a result of the introduction of number 4 paragraph, the subsequent requirements had to be re-numbered accordingly.
In response to a Member question Julia replied that the Council would work together with managers to ensure risk assessments were thorough, to avoid risk and to protect vulnerable people. The Committee was assured that risk assessments were taken into account when premises applied for a license.
Councillor Loyes raised concern over children being allowed into Bingo premises (5. Bingo premises 18.7, page 34 of the Agenda). Councillor Loyes was reassured that where children and young people were allowed in bingo premises, separate areas were made available for them. This issue could be reviewed at the next stage of the process.
Councillor Miall asked that gambling premises be encouraged to collaborate with the MASH System (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) as he felt that there could be information arising from the gambling premises that could be useful to the system and vice-versa.
Councillor Bowring stated that Keith Baker had passed him comments from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. Officers were asked to circulate this information to the Committee.
Members suggested that the Police and Crime Commissioner be included in the list of consultees.
RESOLVED: That the consultation be carried out with the addition of the Police and Crime Commissioner to the list of consultees.