Agenda item

Review of Statement of Licensing Policy under the Gambling Act 2005


The Committee were presented with feedback on the responses received during the public consultation on the review of the Gravesham Borough Council Statement of Licensing Policy under the Gambling Act 2005.


The Senior Licensing Officer explained that at the last meeting on 13 September 2021 the Committee considered the draft policy and proposed consultation and a few amendments were made.   


Additional information had been added in the report which clarified that the council expected applications to demonstrate that staff are appropriately trained in safeguarding awareness, including in relation to CSE training. 


The consultees list included the local Licensed Victuallers Associated.


Enquiries with all Kent and Medway licensing authority colleagues indicated that only one other authority was aware of the enforcement protocol, and that Gravesham were the only council still referring to it. In light of this, and given the outdated nature of the protocol, it was agreed by the Chair of the Licensing Committee that the Kent and Medway Licensing Steering Group Enforcement Protocol would not be included within the Statement of Gambling Policy and that all reference to it would instead be removed.


The Senior Licensing Officer researched other Kent and Medway Councils regarding a ‘No Casino Resolution’ and Thanet was the only Council that licenced a casino. They have three within their area that were all converted from the 1968 Act.   Converted casino licenses can be relocated, but only within the same borough that originally granted the licence.


Under the Gambling Act 2005 across the whole country, no more than eight large and eight small casino premises are permitted and these were listed in the report. Gravesham currently have a ‘No Casino Resolution’ which requires ratification if it is to continue, otherwise it will automatically lapse.


The consultation commenced on 14 September 2021 and ran for 4 weeks until 12 October 2021.  One response was received from Gambleaware and their response was not specific to the policy, just advisory. 


 A new webpage had been added to the Gambling Licensing pages of the council’s website which signposts service users to established treatment and support groups as well as the NHS Help for Problem Gambling page.


The Chair thanked the officers for all the work they had done incorporating the comments the Licensing Committee had made at very short notice.


In response to Members questions concerning the Policy, the Senior Licensing Officer and Regulatory Services Manager explained that:


  • The Committee were asked to note the report and make any amendments before this Policy goes to Full Council on 7 December 2021 and if approved will be published on the council’s website by 3 January 2022. 
  • The Committee discussed whether there was any evidence of the presence of casinos in other districts having posed any risk to the first Licensing Objective, which was preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime.  The question was asked whether reference to the objective should be kept if there was no such supporting evidence.    The Regulatory Services Manager explained that this was one of the statutory objectives set out within the Gambling Act 2005  and is purely reiterated within the Statement of Licensing Policy and there was no specific data held on the levels of crime and disorder associated with casinos in other districts. 


The Chair confirmed with the Licensing Committee that Gravesham has a ‘No Casino Resolution’.  


Resolved that Members recommend that Full Council approve the updated draft Statement of Licensing Policy. Members recommend that Full Council ratify the existing no-casinos resolution for a further three years.


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