Consideration of proposed amendments to the Gambling Policy (Statement of Principles) and approval to undertake consultation (report of the Head of Public Protection enclosed)
Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Public Protection which considered the proposed amendments to the Gambling Policy (Statement of Principles) and recommended approval to undertake consultation.
The Head of Public Protection introduced the report and highlighted the following points:
Members asked whether current applications would need to be determined under the current policy and if an application for a licence would still be considered if the relevant planning application had been refused.
· The Head of Public Protection confirmed that any applications submitted prior to the publication of the new Policy in January 2022 would be considered under the current Policy and that Planning and Licensing applications are considered as separate applications.
The Licensing Officer set out the recommendations for existing policy amendments:
· Number of Gambling Authorisations
o The updated policy would detail licence numbers for 2021 which would show a reduction in numbers from those detailed in the current policy following the closure of some businesses due to Covid.
· General Principles
o The wording in this section would be reinforced and a paragraph would be added to state that moral objections to gambling would not be accepted when considering a gambling licence application.
· Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centre Gaming Machine Permits and Prize Gaming Permits
o A basic DBS check would need to be submitted for all directors where the applicant is a Company if they did not hold an operating licence with the Gambling Commission.
· Local Risk Assessments
o When considering an application or a variation of a licence the Authority would require the applicant to provide a Local Risk Assessment.
· Local Area Profile
o There was a recommendation from the Gambling Commission for the Authority to complete a Local Area profile to address concerns around the Licensing Objectives and this profile would then be used by applicants to help with producing their Local Risk Assessment. The Authority currently does not have a Local Area Profile as it is not a Legal requirement to do so but this would remain under review.
· List of Consultees
o The list had been expanded to include:
§ Relevant Licensing Consultants and Legal Advisers in private practice
§ Betting premises licence holders
§ Public Health Directorate, Lincolnshire County Council
§ Spalding Pubwatch
The following points were raised by Members:
The Head of Public Protection concluded the presentation of the policy by reaffirming the following points:
· That the objective of the Statement of Principles, as set out by the Gambling commission was to provide a statement of intent to provide gambling functions.
· It would invite operators to consider local issues and set out how they would contribute to improving these issues.
· It was not possible to restrict numbers of gambling licences that the Authority gave out, but the Authority should aim to permit the use of premises for gambling, subject to the legislation, guidance, statement of principles and licensing objectives in place.
· Planning and Licensing applications were separate applications and would be considered as such.
1) That the Committee approves the proposed amendments to the Gambling Policy (Statement of principles) as shown at Appendix A of the report; and
2) Approval is given undertake a consultation exercise as required under the Gambling Act 2005.