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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


5 - Local risk assessments

6.41. The Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) formalise the need for operators to consider local risks.

6.42. Social responsibility (SR) code 10.1.1 requires licensees to assess the local risks to the licensing objectives posed by the provision of gambling facilities at each of their premises, and have policies, procedures and control measures to mitigate those risks. In undertaking their risk assessments, they must take into account relevant matters identified in the licensing authority’s policy statement.

6.43. Licensees are required to undertake a local risk assessment when applying for a new premises licence. Their risk assessment must also be updated:

  • when applying for a variation of a premises licence
  • to take account of significant changes in local circumstances, including those identified in a licensing authority’s policy statement
  • when there are significant changes at a licensee’s premises that may affect their mitigation of local risks.

6.44. The SR provision is supplemented by an ordinary code provision indicating that licensees should share their risk assessment with licensing authorities when applying for a premises licence or applying for a variation to existing licensed premises, or otherwise at the request of the licensing authority. Both provisions took effect from April 2016.

6.45. Where concerns do exist, perhaps prompted by new or existing risks, a licensing authority might request that the licensee share a copy of its own risk assessment which will set out the measures the licensee has in place to address specific concerns. This practice should reduce the occasions on which a premises review and the imposition of licence conditions is required.

6.46. Where a licensing authority’s policy statement sets out its approach to regulation with clear reference to local risks, it will facilitate operators being able to better understand the local environment and therefore proactively mitigate risks to the licensing objectives. In some circumstances, it might be appropriate to offer the licensee the opportunity to volunteer specific conditions that could be attached to the premises licence.

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