Revised Gambling Act Statement of Principles
Meeting: 06/12/2018 - Council (Item 162)
Report of Councillor Alison Webb, Executive Member for People & Information.
Councillor Alison Webb, the Portfolio Holder for People & Information, presented the report and asked Members to consider and approve the Council’s revised Gambling Policy (Statement of Principles).
The Statement had to be reviewed every three years; therefore, since the current Statement took effect in January 2016, the required process had to be completed by the end of 2018.
Members were asked to note that the recommendation was incorrect; it was Full Council that had to approve the proposed Gambling Policy and not the Overview & Scrutiny Commission.
RESOLVED that the revised Gambling Policy (Statement of Principles) as shown at Appendix A of the report be approved.
Report of Executive Member People and Information, Councillor Alison Webb.
The revised Gambling Act Statement of Principles reflected changes in Government guidelines. A lot of the text was standardised, but it had been ‘localised’ where possible. It was currently out for consultation with stakeholders. The next step would be to produce a local plan for gambling, for businesses.
Councillor Jermy asked if there was any guidance on restricting the number of bettings shops that can open in one location. He knew of one street in Thetford that had three such shops. He was advised that that was not part of the policy as that was a planning issue which the Statement had no power to restrict. However, the location was taken into consideration before an application was granted.
It was clarified that betting shops were sui generis in Planning terms, meaning they did not fit into any of the Planning categories and therefore required express consent.
Councillor Bambridge encouraged all responsible citizens to lobby to encourage a change to prevent the increase in gambling.
The Licensing Manager pointed out that the Local Authority could regulate gambling premises but they had no control over on-line gambling. Public Health had approached the Council for information on the harm and the Licensing and Business Support Manager would be meeting with them to see what could be done.
Councillor Jermy noted that there was very little support for gambling addiction in Breckland and that was something the Council should be more aware of.
Councillor T Hewett suggested that engaging with schools might help to prevent future gambling problems.
RESOLVED to support the revised Gambling Act Statement of Principles.