The committee will be asked to consider the content of the draft revised Statement of Principles on gambling, detailed in Appendix B, and make any necessary changes before it goes out to consultation.
Emma Grieve, Senior Environmental Health Officer (Licensing) introduced the report. The hearing was called to present a draft version of the Council’s Statement of Principles on the Gambling Act 2005. The statement needed to be reviewed every 3 years. The Licensing Committee were asked to consider the content of the revision and make any necessary changes before it went out to consultation. The consultation was scheduled to begin on the 4th October 2017 and close 31st October 2017. The Statement of Principles with any amendments was to be brought back before the Licensing Committee on 24th November 2017 before going to full Council for approval on 14th December 2017.
The revision was drafted in line with the Gambling Commission’s Guidance to Licensing Authorities, dated September 2015 and further updates dated September 2016.
The Gambling Act 2005 contained the regulatory system that governed much of the provision of gambling in Great Britain. While the Gambling Commission was responsible for granting operating and personal licenses, the Local Authority was the Licensing Authority responsible for licensing gambling premises within their area, as well as carrying out functions in relation to lower stake gaming machines and clubs. The Gambling Act 2005 required the Licensing Authority to prepare and publish a statement of the principles they proposed to apply in exercising their functions under the Act.
The Council’s previous Statement of Principles was provided in Appendix A to the report and the proposed draft Statement of Principles was provided in Appendix B.
The proposed statement differed from the previous statement in a number of ways:
1. Changes to spelling and grammar
2. The current type and number of premises within the EHDC area conducting gambling activities had been included in section 3.1.
3. A new map of the district showing the urban and rural areas was provided in section 3.1.
4. As required in the updated Gambling Commission’s Guidance, reference was now made to local risk assessments – section 8.0 and local areas profiles – section 9.0.
5. In section 40.0, Licensing Authority Delegations, the referral of applications for a licensed premises gaming machine permit for more than two gaming machines to the Licensing Sub-Committee, had been removed.
6. The maximum stake and maximum prize limits detailed in Appendix B to the draft Statement of Principles had been updated in line with the Gambling Act.
The review was necessary to :
· Ensure compliance with the Authorities statutory duties;
· Produce a workable and effective policy on gambling in the district; and
· Promote the licensing objectives.
The committee went through the policy. On pages 46 and 47 of the agenda, the area of Whitehill and Bordon was referred to incorrectly both in the text and on the map as Bordon/Whitehill. Councillors felt strongly this should be amended to read Whitehill and Bordon as this was the official name. Emma Grieve would amend the text on page 46 and speak to Peter Sylvester’s Team who had provided the original map to make the alteration on page 47.
The Committee queried why in section 40.0, the referral of applications for a licensed premises gaming machine permit for more than two gaming machines to the Licensing Sub-Committee had been removed. It was not a statutory requirement for it to be referred. There were currently 7 premises in the district that had permits for more than two gaming machines. Feedback that had been given indicated that it was seen as more of an administrative process and it was decided this should be a delegated decision to officers who would refer the application to the sub-committee if they felt it needed to be.
It was suggested that in the future East Hampshire District Council should take the opportunity to review its position on a ‘no casino’ resolution. The Licensing Authority has currently not passed a ‘no casino’ resolution under Section 166 of the Gambling Act 2005.
Overall the Committee was pleased with the proposed statement. RESOLVED that the Committee had considered the content of the draft revised Statement of Principles on gambling, detailed in Appendix B and had made the necessary changes before it went out to consultation.