Views Sought on Gambling Licensing
South Tyneside Council is inviting people to help shape its policy on gambling licensing as it undergoes a refresh for 2022-2025.
As the Borough's Licensing Authority, the Council is responsible for issuing licences and permits to all premises offering gambling, from bingo and betting to prize machines, club gaming and family entertainment centres.
The Council's current policy has been in place since January 2019 and must be reviewed and re-published by 31 January 2022.
It has now drafted a revised policy, which outlines how consistent, transparent and fair licensing decisions should be made. It also takes into account latest guidance by the Secretary of State, changes in legislation, recent case law and experience gained by the Licensing authority over recent years.
The Authority is seeking the views of local people and businesses on its contents as part of a consultation exercise, with feedback and comments encouraged up until 13 September 2021.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "We take our responsibility as the licensing authority for South Tyneside very seriously and remain committed to consulting with our communities especially during these challenging times.
"The Gambling policy aims to provide clear guidance about the Council's approach to gambling, striking a balance between the need to ensure gambling is conducted in a fair and open way while preventing it being associated with crime and disorder and protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
"It is something that affects a large proportion of the residents in the Borough, therefore it is important that local people have the opportunity to express their views and help us shape a policy that will serve the Borough well for the next three years.
"The licensing authority is also consulting widely with its partners including the police, planning and public health departments as well as a representation of the licensed trade and other local businesses."
Under the Gambling Act 2005, every local authority must publish a Gambling Licensing Policy (Statement of Licensing Policy) and refresh it at least every three years. It sets out how the authority will exercise its functions under the Act with a view to promoting the three gambling licensing objectives:
- Preventing gambling being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime and disorder or being used to support crime;
- Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way; and
- Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
The draft policy can be viewed on the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/haveyoursay It can also be viewed at South Shields and Jarrow town halls and Hebburn Central. Comments can be submitted via email to email@example.com.
For further information, or to discuss the draft policy, contact the Council's Licensing Section on (0191) 424 7946.