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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


8 - Consultation

6.56. In determining its policy statement, the licensing authority must give appropriate weight to the views of those it has consulted. In deciding what weight to give, the factors to be taken into account include:

  • who is making the representations, the nature of their interest and their expertise
  • relevance of the factors to the licensing objectives
  • how many other people have expressed the same or similar views
  • how far the representations relate to matters that the licensing authority should be including in its policy statement.

6.57. A licensing authority should always be able to give reasons for the decisions it has made following consultation. Having regard to this guidance will be important for consistency.

Consultation process

6.58. S.349(3) of the Act requires licensing authorities to consult with the following on their policy statement or any subsequent revision:

  • in England and Wales, the chief officer of police for the authority’s area
  • in Scotland, the chief constable of the Police Scotland
  • one or more persons who appear to the authority to represent the interests of persons carrying on gambling businesses in the authority’s area
  • one or more persons who appear to the authority to represent the interests of persons who are likely to be affected by the exercise of the authority’s functions under the Act.

6.59. The list of persons to be consulted is deliberately wide. This enables licensing authorities to undertake a comprehensive consultation exercise with anyone who may be affected by or otherwise have an interest in their policy statement.

6.60. It is a matter for licensing authorities to develop their own consultation practices, including the methods for consultation and who they consider it necessary to consult with, which might include consultation with relevant local groups, businesses and responsible authorities.

6.61. Any written consultation should follow best practice as set out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Consultation responses should usually be published within 12 weeks of the consultation closing. Where licensing authorities do not publish a response within 12 weeks, they should provide a brief statement on why they have not done so. Consultation documents could be provided on the licensing authority’s website.

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Declaration by licensing authority
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Reviewing and updating the policy statement
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