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Consultation over the Lewes district gambling policy

We are calling on local residents, licensed businesses, interest groups, faith groups and public agencies to have their say on the district's future gambling policy.

The Gambling Act 2005 requires all licensing authorities to prepare and publish a Gambling Licensing Policy statement every three years. A review of the current policy, which is due to expire in February 2019, is now underway.

The draft statement of principle is available to download below with the changes we are proposing are clearly indicated.

The closing date for submitting responses is Monday 28 January 2019 at 5pm.

How to respond

Please read the draft policy and send your comments via this form:

Contact us with your feedback

You can also use the form to request a paper copy of the draft document or request it in a different format or language.

If you would rather send your feedback in writing, please address it to Licensing, Lewes District Council, Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, BN7 1AB.

Background to the Gambling Policy

The Gambling Act 2005 (the Act) gives licensing authorities various regulatory functions in relation to gambling.

The main functions of licensing authorities include:

  • issuing premises licences (in respect of casinos, bingo premises, betting shops, tracks, adult gaming centres, family entertainment centres),
  • considering notices given for the temporary use of premises for gambling,
  • granting permits for gaming and gaming machines in clubs and in alcohol licensed premises,
  • granting permits to family entertainment centres for the use of certain lower stake gaming machines.

The Gambling Act is based on three overriding objectives:

  • Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime.
  • Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way.
  • Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The policy statement explains the council’s position in respect of the objectives and informs the decision making on whether to grant an application, whether to add any, and if so, what conditions and whether and how to interfere on review.

Licensing policies must be prepared in accordance with the Gambling Act 2005. Guidance issued by the Gambling Commission prescribes the information that must be included in the policy, but the policy must also reflect local circumstances hence the importance of local consultation.

Proposed Gambling Policy 2019-2022

Since the licensing function was transferred from the Magistrate's Court in 2007, this authority has not seen a proliferation of new gambling outlets in the Borough. Neither have we received many complaints about the operation of gambling premises.

However, our policies have reflected our commitment to ensuring that children and vulnerable people are protected from harm or being exploited by gambling.

Local risk assessment 

Nationally, gambling policy and the regulatory environment overall has an increasing focus on risk. Whilst not compulsory, it is recommended that a licensing authority creates a 'local area profile' to inform its understanding of risk and to allow appropriate decisions to be made and steps taken to mitigate these risks.

From April 2016, gambling establishment operators have been required to undertake 'local area risk assessments' for all their premises.

Any comments you send should clearly state your name, any organisation or persons you may be responding on behalf of and your address.

The consultation runs until 31 January 2019 when we will consider all the responses and amend the proposed policy as appropriate. The updated policy will then be considered by the Licensing Committee in January 2019 and by full Council in February 2019. 

It should be noted that the Gambling Commission Guidance advises that demand for gambling premises and morality issues are not considerations under this legislation. Therefore the authority will not be in a position to consider any comments of this nature.