Last week, Cabinet approved a new Statement of Gambling Policy, which has been recommended to Full Council on Thursday 30 March.
As a licensing authority, we must publish a Statement of Gambling Policy at least once every three years, in line with statutory guidelines. Our current Gambling Policy came into effect in December 2019 and was due for review by December 2022.
A statutory consultation was conducted from Friday 28 October 2022 to Friday 6 January 2023 to seek views and opinions on the proposed new policy.
The main additions to the proposed new policy are:
- To set out the Local Area Profile and stress the weight of consideration it should be given when making an application under the Gambling Act 2005
- Link the Local Area Profile to local risk assessments by applicants and licensees
- Differentiate between the mandatory, default and locally imposed conditions
- Make our role clearer in terms of enforcement and compliance
- Provide additional information about the registration of small lotteries
- Provide advice and suggestions about Public Health concerns with problem gambling
The policy also includes the three licensing objectives we must incorporate under the Gambling Act 2005:
- Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder, or being used to support crime
- Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
- Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling
The Statement of Gambling Policy will not override the right of any person to make an application, make representations about an application, or apply for a review of a licence. Each application will be considered on its own merits and in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Act.
Carrie Abbott, Service Director for Public Health and Regulation, said: "I'm pleased that this important policy has been approved by Cabinet and will now go to Full Council.
"Gambling comes in many forms and can now take place anytime and anywhere through mobile devices – it is an industry which does not stop and can be incredibly harmful. While we have no control over online gambling, which is regulated by the Gambling Commission, we do licence physical premises. We aren’t looking to stop people in Barnsley from gambling, but we do want those who gamble to do so responsibly.
“Problem gambling can have devastating effects for those involved and their families too, and we're conscious that there is a gap in our support services for those who may be struggling with gambling issues and those in their wider support networks suffering from gambling-related harms.
“We’re currently in the process of looking into a localised support offer on this topic, using information given to us by residents from a survey on gambling and gambling-related harms we ran in 2021."