Gambling Act 2005 Guidance
Gambling Act 2005 Representation
Section 153 requires licensing authorities to permit the use of premises for gambling so far as the application/applicants are compliant with The Act:
- The Code of Practice issued by the Gambling Commission
- the Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission and
- lastly, the Councils own Gambling Policy.
There are 3 licensing objectives that underpin the Act and all applications must be determined to ensure the objectives are upheld, these are:
- Ensuring gambling is kept free from crime and disorder
- Ensuring gambling is conducted in a fair an open way
- Protection of children and vulnerable adults.
Factors that cannot be considered
Section 153 also says, "In determining whether to grant a premises licence a licensing authority may not have regard to the expected demand for the facilities which it is proposed to provide."
Guidance from the Gambling Commission says, "Local authorities should note that in the case of gambling premises licences, disorder is intended to mean activity that is more serious and disruptive than mere nuisance."
The lack of Planning consent on a property is also another factor that cannot be considered under the licensing process.
The fact that there are already existing betting premises in a given area is also not a valid representation as the Act says that demand/proliferation is not a matter for consideration.
Difficulties with evidencing the objectives
Residents will not be in a position to give any supporting evidence to the first 2 objectives, i.e. ensuring gambling is kept free from crime and ensuring gambling is conducted in a fair and open way. These objectives are really matters that the Gambling Commission are best placed to deal with.
The Guidance issued to the Police advises them that they are able to refer to the following, but even in that guidance it uses the word ‘may be relevant’
‘Other gambling premises in the area are routinely used for illegal activities such as drug-dealing’
‘The existence of other similar premises in the area has been found to have contributed towards local disorder’
‘Other premises owned by this operator in the area have been known to have major problems with underage gambling’
The 3rd objective of protecting children and the vulnerable is also hard to evidence as the law already dictates that only persons aged 18 or over are allowed on betting premises. It will not be relevant to state that because children are walking by a betting shop on their daily journey maybe to and from school that they will be harmed by this.
What guidance is offered to residents
The guidance issued to residents advises residents that they must read the application and if they wish to make a representation it must be with regard to the following matters:
- The Code of Practice and or
- The Guidance to Licensing Authorities
- The three licensing objectives or
- The local Authority’s Statement of Gambling Policy
If they are to be taken into account.
Gambling Act Fact Sheet for Local Residents
This leaflet has been prepared by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to help you understand the new Gambling Act and the role that your local authority will now have in determining and regulating the gambling industry in your local area.
Gambling Act Fact Sheet for Local Authority Councillors
This leaflet has been prepared by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Gambling Division to help Local Authority Councillors to better understand their new role under the Gambling Act 2005.
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