Agenda item

Gambling Act Statement of Principles

Report of the Chief Licensing Officer.



The Chief Licensing Officer submitted a report on the Gambling Act 2005 - Statement of Principles (Policy), which contained information on the results of the consultation recently undertaken on the Act, and set out the changes made to the revised Statement of Principles (Policy) written by the Licensing Authority in accordance with Section 349 of the Gambling Act 2005.




The report was introduced by Shimla Finch (Licensing Strategy and Policy Officer).




In response to questions raised by Members of the Sub-Committee, Shimla Finch stated that there had been a number of changes to the rules and regulations governing betting premises and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) since the last review.  A recent review by the Gambling Commission had resulted in a reduction in the stakes and prize winnings regarding FOBTs, which had, in turn, resulted in a reduction in the number of such terminals.  Other changes included a requirement on new betting shops to apply for planning permission to assist local authorities in problems with clustering, and this had recently been discussed by Planning Officers in a meeting of the Place Leadership Team, where the types of premises would be incorporated with the planning, strategies and plans.




Ms Finch stated that she would email details of the explanations of the different categories of betting machines to Members. The Gambling Commission had a national strategy on reducing harm, and the strategy, and its findings, had been extended for another year, therefore the Licensing Service was awaiting information on this.  Whilst there was an objective in the Policy which dealt with the protection of children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, Public Health was looking to develop its own strategy to deal with the harm caused by gambling to all groups in the city.  The policy document itself hoped to ensure that it included sufficient  mitigation measures for applicants to reduce the potential of gambling-related harm to children and the vulnerable when applying in Sheffield.




Any safeguarding training for new applicants, and refresher training for existing licensees could be arranged and undertaken by the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership (SCSP), with such safeguarding training being a requirement for applicants under the Policy.  When applications were received by the Licensing Service, they were referred to the responsible authorities for comment, with the SCSP being one such authority.  The Licensing Service did not hold information on the numbers of problem gamblers in the city, but it was hoped that, as and when a city-wide strategy was developed by Public Health, this would include such statistics.  Issues regarding online gambling were dealt with by the Gambling Commission, as part of its Gambling Harm Strategy.




RESOLVED: That the Committee:-




(a)      notes the contents of the report now submitted, the information now reported and the responses to the questions raised;




(b)      thanks Shimla Finch for attending the meeting, and for responding to the questions raised; and




(c)      approves the Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles (Policy) now submitted, subject to the addition of the word “colleges” after “school” in Part 5 (5.2 Policy – Location, first bullet point) and (5.4 Policy – Risk, second bullet point) for submission to the Co-operative Executive, then to Full Council, for approval.




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