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Training on how to identify and manage the siting of illegal gaming machines is being provided to local councils across the country by Westminster City Training in partnership with the Gambling Commission’s Local Authority Liaison Unit (LALU).

Many of the courses are being held in casino premises, which will provide participants with first-hand experience of a live gambling environment after the training has been completed. The first course at Bristol’s Grosvenor Casino was fully booked, as are a number of the other sessions.

It follows the success of seven workshops held around the country last year which were attended by almost 400 council and police officers and demonstrated a need by local councils for practical training on how to effectively identify and take action relating to illegal gaming machines.

Rob Burkitt of the Commission’s LALU team said:

“We are delighted to have partnered with Westminster City Training to develop and deliver this course around the country, and we are also grateful to the Rank Group and Aspers for the use of their casinos at many of the venues.

“Issues around suspected illegal gaming machines are one of the main compliance referrals we make to licensing authorities. With the fast moving nature of technical advances in gaming machines, these workshops are a great opportunity for police and council officers to find out what they need to look for when dealing with illegal gaming machines.”

Supplying gaming machines or making them available to the public without the appropriate licence or permission is a criminal offence. LALU regularly supports councils and police forces across the country on joint operations to remove illegal gaming machines.

Steve Harrison, Westminster City Council’s Operational Director of Premises Management said:

“The licensing, deployment and policing of gaming machines present real challenges and the fact that that our first workshop course in Bristol sold out speaks volumes about the need for quality training.

“I believe that Westminster City Council’s team offers the best training available. Crucially, our officers come to the classroom with years of on-the-ground experience and we share the Gambling Commission’s ambition for best practice to be shared across the country.”
Any local council or police licensing officers interested in attending one of the training workshops should contact Westminster City Training on ehtraining@westminster.gov.uk with the date and location of the course they wish to book. Alternatively Westminster’s bookings team can be contacted on 020 7641 6252.

The list of training events is as follows:

Thursday 10 April - Grosvenor Casino, Bristol 
Thursday 17 April - Grosvenor Casino, Cardiff
Tuesday 22 April - BDRO, Victoria Square House, Birmingham
Friday 25 April - Westminster City Training Centre, London
Wednesday 7 May - Westminster City Training Centre, London
Tuesday 13 May - Westminster City Training Centre, London
Wednesday 21 May - Westminster City Training Centre, London
Wednesday 28 May - Westminster City Training Centre, London
Thursday 5 June - Grosvenor Casino, Southampton
Thursday 12 June - Grosvenor Casino, Nottingham
Thursday 19 June - Grosvenor Casino, Leeds
Thursday 26 June - Grosvenor Casino, Hull
Thursday 10 July - Grosvenor Casino, Liverpool
Thursday 17 July - Mecca Bingo, York
Thursday 24 July - Aspers Casino, Milton Keynes
Thursday 31 July - Westminster City Training Centre, Central London

Notes to editors

  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.

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

Posted on 14 April 2014