Gambling Act Policy Consultation

Closed 10 Dec 2021

Opened 1 Nov 2021

Feedback updated 1 Apr 2022

We asked

Under section 349 of the Gambling Act 2005, the Council is required to prepare and publish a Statement of Licensing Policy, (‘Policy’). The Policy sets out the approach to the consideration and determination of applications made under the Act and any subsequent necessary compliance and enforcement action.

The draft Policy, agreed by Licensing Committee on 20 October 2021, was subject to a five-week public consultation.

This included direct communications with all statutory consultees and other stakeholders or bodies and groups who might be affected by gambling activities in the Buckinghamshire Council area.

The consultation ran from Monday 1 November to midnight on Friday 10 December 2021.

You said

We received 9 responses to the consultation - 8 responses to the online survey and one letter. 

Of the online responses one strongly agreed, 4 agreed, 3 were neutral, and one disagreed with the policy. 

A letter was submitted on behalf of the Betting and Gaming Council.

Whilst the response rate may appear low, this is by no means unusual for public consultations on local authority gambling policies.

We did

At its meeting on 23 February 2022, Buckinghamshire Council approved and adopted the Statement of Licensing Policy under the Gambling Act 2005 (PDF 0.90MB), to take effect from 1 April 2022.  

Considering comments made by consultation respondents, some minor amendments were made to the draft Policy wording (where considered appropriate and consistent with statutory guidance from the Gambling Commission).

In addition to wording changes, the draft Policy has been amended to include a commitment to notify ward councillors and local town and parish councils when an application for a new or variation of gambling premises licence is made in their area. 

This approach mirrors the approach adopted in the Licensing Act 2003 - which was approved by the Council with a view to facilitating greater community engagement in local decision making.

Overview

Buckinghamshire Council logo

We are holding this consultation to gather your views about our draft Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Licensing Policy.

Buckinghamshire Council, in its role as the Licensing Authority, is responsible for issuing permits and licences for premises where gambling takes place. As part of this duty, the Council is required to prepare and publish a statement of the principles that it proposes to apply when exercising its functions under the Gambling Act 2005.

The Gambling Act 2005

The Act sets out licensing objectives that underpin the legislation and must be taken into consideration by the Council, and by people who provide gambling facilities. The objectives are:

  • 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
  • Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

Who does the Policy affect?

The Policy primarily affects businesses that provide gambling facilities such as betting shops and bingo halls. However, it also applies to societies that carry out small scale lotteries or raffles. The general public are also impacted by decisions that are made as a consequence of Policy provisions.

The Policy

This draft Policy replaces the previous policies which were used by the district councils in Buckinghamshire with a single policy. It sets out Buckinghamshire Council’s approach to promoting the licensing objectives when considering and deciding applications.

The Policy includes information which is required by legislation and by the Gambling Commission’s Guidance to Local Authorities.

It also sets out the Council’s expectations for applicants and licence holders to ensure that they can comply with the licensing objectives. To help with this, the Council has also produced a Local Area Profile which provides relevant local information to help applicants and licence holders produce risk assessments for their businesses which are required by the Gambling Act 2005.

The draft Policy is available to download at the bottom of this page, along with a copy of the Local Area Profile for your information. We strongly recommend you read these documents before providing your feedback.

How to have your say

Please complete the online consultation survey below (a printed version of the survey is available on request).

We will contact all of the statutory consultees directly. These are listed at page 30 (Appendix 2) of the draft Policy.

What happens next

We will review all the feedback we receive to guide us in making any relevant changes to the Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Licensing Policy. The final, amended version of the Policy will then go to the Licensing Committee on 2 February 2022, followed by Full Council on 23 February 2022 for approval.

Once approved, we will update this page with the outcome of the consultation process.

We are required to publish the policy by 1 April 2022, and it will be reviewed at least every three years.

Privacy

We will use the information you provide here only for this activity. We will store the information securely in line with data protection laws and will not share or publish any personal details. For more information about data and privacy, please see our Privacy Policy.

If you have questions about data and privacy, please email us on dataprotection@buckinghamshire.gov.uk. Or write to our Data Protection Officer at Buckinghamshire Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF.

Interests

  • Sport & Leisure
  • Communities