People urged to have their say on new gambling rules

Fixed odds gambling machines are one of the areas of concern.
Fixed odds gambling machines are one of the areas of concern.

People in South Tyneside are being given the chance and have their say on new gambling rules.

The borough council is responsible for licensing premises within South Tyneside where gambling takes place.

To help local businesses and residents understand the new licensing process, a Gambling Act statement of principles for 2016 to 2019 has been drawn up.

The new policy outlines how licensing decisions will be “fair and consistent” under the Gambling Act 2005 with a view to preventing gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, and ensuring that it is conducted in a fair and open way.

Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling is another priority.

A council spokesman said: “The statement was prepared after extensive public consultation and explains how fair and consistent licensing decisions will be made.”

Now members of the public have been invited to make a comment on the draft Gambling Act Policy Statement of Principle.

This can be done by e-mailing the council’s licensing section at licensing@southtyneside.gov.uk or by writing to The Licensing Section, Town Hall and Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE33 2RL. Comments must be submitted by Thursday, October 1.

Last year, South Tyneside Council was one of 63 local authorities to sign up to a campaign to put betting shops back in their own planning use class, which would enable councils to refuse new planning applications from bookies.

It came as figures showed £4.5million was lost a year by borough people playing fixed odds gambling machines.