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The merits of an evidence-led approach to local gambling regulation was one of the key themes discussed by around 250 local council representatives at special events in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Newcastle recently. 

Hosted by the Gambling Commission’s Local Authority Liaison Unit (LALU), the events looked at proposed changes to the Commission’s fifth edition of its guidance to licensing authorities (GLA), which sets out principle guidance to local councils on gambling related matters. 

The Commission’s chief executive, Jenny Williams, and its chair, Philip Graf, opened the Birmingham and London events respectively, where attendees, including elected members and sector professionals, were invited to pool their collective expertise and discuss some of the key drivers of the forthcoming GLA consultation, principally:

  • the need to reflect the outcomes of the Commission’s consultation on the social responsibility provisions within the licence conditions and codes practice (LCCP) 
  • to promote collaborative working between licensing authorities and local gambling operators
  • to continue the positive partnership working between the Commission and licensing authorities
  • to reinforce the powers afforded to licensing authorities to manage local gambling regulation through measures such as their statements of licensing policy . 

The Commission also explained the fifth edition of GLA will refer to a local area profile which licensing authorities can use to map out the local risks to the licensing objectives (eg schools, rehabilitation centres, crime hotspots) as well as set out their expectations of local operators’ premises risk assessments (a new requirement under the LCCP changes). Those present at the events were invited to consider the risks within their localities and the measures that could be put in place to mitigate specific concerns.  

Westminster Council closed the Birmingham, London and Manchester events with a presentation setting out its own work on risk profiling which has, in a number of cases, led to more positive and constructive dialogue with local gambling operators. 

Helen Venn, the Commission's programme director responsible for LALU said:

"These events reinforce the positive working relationship between the Commission and its regulatory partners. It was very encouraging to see those present engaging with the subject matter and sharing their innovative approaches to tackling a diverse range of local issues. The events provided us with valuable feedback on the themes that will underpin the forthcoming GLA consultation."

Further events are to be held in Scotland and Wales in the coming weeks.

Notes to editors

The Gambling Commission

  1. The Gambling Commission (the Commission) regulates gambling in the public interest alongside its co-regulators local licensing authorities. It does so by keeping crime out of gambling, by ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly and openly, and by protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling. Subject to these overriding public protection objectives, as regulator of the National Lottery the Commission monitors and challenges Camelot to raise the maximum amount for good causes. The Commission also provides independent advice to government on gambling in Britain. 
  2. The Commission and local licensing authorities are responsible for licensing and regulating all gambling in Great Britain other than spread betting, which is the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  3. See the Terms & Conditions section of our website for information on legal advice.

Further information

For further information please contact our press office on 0121 230 6700 or email: communications@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

Posted on 05 March 2015