Council launches consultation on new gambling policy
South Tyneside Council is looking for people's views on a new gambling policy which is set to be imposed across the borough.
Currently, the council has responsibility for issuing licences for any premises used for gambling – from bingo halls and racing tracks to pubs and clubs with gaming machines.
Under the Gambling Act (2005), councils must follow objectives including reducing crime and disorder, ensuring gambling is fair and open and protecting vulnerable/young people.
The authority’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee has given the green light to a 10-week consultation on a new policy running between 2019-2022.
The policy will focus on public health, provide contact numbers to licenced gambling premises to raise concerns about child sexual exploitation and to also maintain distinctions between different types of gambling providers.
The policy will also advise applicants of a recent Government review of fixed-odds betting terminals which plans to reduce maximum stake from £100 to £2.
The committee, sitting at South Shields Town Hall, heard the consultation would engage residents, businesses, councillors, MPs and a range of organisations.
The consultation will run until September 30 with the policy expected to get the final stamp of approval by full council in January 2019.
Coun Angela Hamilton raised concerns about the scope of the consultation process stating it excluded community groups and people with learning difficulties and mental health issues.
“I don’t think there is enough in about vulnerable adults. Stuff on children is great but vulnerable adults are possibly more at risk,” she said.
Licensing officers told the committee that the consultation would be open to anyone who wanted to leave comments with a focus on gathering feedback electronically.
For more information, visit: www.southtyneside.gov.uk
Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporting Service