To consider the draft revised Statement of Principles and refer it to full Council for approval (report of the Assistant Director Commissioning enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director of Commissioning on the revised statement of Principles – Gambling Act 2005. The Committee of the Licensing Authority were requested to approve the revised Statement of Principles which then would receive final approval from full Council to be published and come into effect from 31 January 2013.
The Gambling Act 2005 came fully into effect on 1 September 2007 which created a new system of licensing and regulation for commercial gambling. Local Authorities had regulatory responsibility for licensing certain gambling activities. The Act also created an independent non-departmental public body, the Gambling Commission sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Under Section 349 of the Gambling Act 2005 the Licensing Authority was required to prepare and publish a statement of the principles that proposed to apply in exercising its functions under the Act before each successive period of three years. South Holland District Council’s current Statement of Principles was published and came into effect in January 2010.
To assist local authorities the Act required the Gambling Commission to issue statutory guidance to Licensing Authorities on the manner in which they exercised their functions. Licensing Authorities were required to take into account such guidance, and were designed to ensure the spread of best practice and consistency of approach in decision making, whilst not preventing them from properly exercising discretion in taking into account appropriate and relevant local issues.
A review of the current Statement of Principles had been completed and a revised draft prepared. This draft was based on the 4th Edition of the Guidance issued to licensing authorities, published by the Gambling Commission, and a template statement issued by the Local Government Association.
The draft Policy underwent a consultation period from 19 July 2012 until 11 October 2012 and was carried out in accordance with guidance issued by the Gambling Commission and the HM Government Code of Practice on consultation. There was a requirement under section 349(3) Gambling Act 2005 for the Licensing Authority to consult the following bodies on the Statement of Principles and subsequent revision to it:
· The Chief Officer of Police for the authority’s area;
· One or more persons who appeared to the authority to represent the interests of persons carrying on gambling businesses in the authority’s area; and
· One or more persons who appeared to the authority to represent the interests of persons who were likely to be affected by the exercise of the authority’s functions under this Act.
The draft statement of Principles had been widely consulted upon with other Responsible Authorities, all holders issued gambling permissions and other interested parties, no responses to the draft Statement of Principles had been received.
Revisions to the Statement of Principles included an updated introduction, updates to documents referred to, new information on test purchasing, information on gambling as a primary activity, updates on gaming machines, and provision of updates Responsible Authority contact details.
Members requested clarification on certain points, what was the definition of a small lottery and whether there was a full list of all those who had been consulted upon.
The Licensing Officer clarified that a small lottery was defined as a draw that had tickets pre-printed with a draw on a later date. The Licensing and Business Support Manager advised that a full list of all those consulted upon had been appended to the draft Statement of Principles at Appendix A within the report.
That the Revised Statement of Principles – Gambling Act 2005 Policy be agreed and recommended for approval by full Council.