To consider the Gambling Act 2005 - Review of the Statement of Principles report.
The Portfolio Holder for Health & Well-Being presented the report to consider the recommendation from the Executive to approve the Gambling Act 2005 – Statement of Principles. She stated that the Council was required to prepare and keep under review a statement of the principles which it proposed to apply when exercising its functions every three years. The additions included the safeguarding of children and adaptation of premises to ensure that there was no direct access for gambling.
It was proposed by the Portfolio Holder for Health & Well-Being, Councillor Russell and seconded by the Leader, Councillor Christophers. The proposal was carried by 38 votes for, with one abstention.
RESOLVED the Gambling Act 2005 – Statement of Principles be approved.
To consider the amendments to the Amendments to the Gambling Act.
The Licensing Manager presented the circulated report on the draft Statement of Principles, which had been prepared under the Gambling Act 2005. Members were advised that the Council was required every three years, to prepare and keep under review, a statement of the principles which were proposed to apply when exercising its functions, the statement to be subsequently published. The Council had prepared its statement which had been subject to consultation. The Licensing Manager advised that the Statement of Principles had been updated in relation to safeguarding and incorporating weblinks to keep the document continually up to date.
During discussion, Members raised the following:-
· What was the size of the problem in the District?
· Had Social Services been consulted?
· What enforcement took place?
· There were over 5,400 problem gamblers in Devon
· Had serious concerns regarding the protection of children and should the Safeguarding Children Act (2015) be referenced as this Act explicitly stated that under 18’s were children.
In response to Members, the Licensing Manager clarified that wording used in the statement were those used in the legislation, there were yearly inspections with the Gambling Commission with any necessary follow up visits. The Gambling Act was the primary legislation which had clear definitions and Devon County Council Social Services had been consulted. She was not aware of any readings relating to 16-18 years old’s with a gambling addiction in the District.
The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources commented that, in the next review, the Adult Safeguarding Board and Devon Partnership Trust should be consulted and data from the Public Health Board should be obtained to inform the report.
The Leader stated that the addiction to gambling was even more difficult to address with the increased use of the internet and that representation needed to be made to other agencies to look to tackle this.
The Portfolio Holder for Health & Well-being commented that there was no control over the use of the internet and that the Community Safety Partnership had raised safeguarding issues around this. Legislation was needed to stop children accessing gambling websites.
RECOMMENDED to Full Council that the Statement of Principles be approved as set out in the report.