Gambling Act 2005
Hart District Council is the Licensing Authority pursuant to the Gambling Act 2005 and is responsible for considering a range of licence and permit applications such as:
- Premises licences (for places such as betting shops, arcades, bingo halls, race tracks and casinos)
- Gaming permits (allowing the provision of facilities for gaming)
- Machine permits (allowing gaming machines for use on premises)
- Gaming notifications (provision of limited numbers of gaming machines)
- Temporary and occasional use notices
- Small society lotteries
The council's aim is to ensure gambling is conducted in a fair and open way whilst ensuring the protection of vulnerable people. The Act has three policy objectives which the council will do its duty to uphold. Each is given equal weight:
- 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.
Social responsibility remains the top priority - protection of the public, especially children and the vulnerable.
The Act is also supported by close, open and consultative working with all stake holders - the industry, faith belief and community groups; researchers; those dealing with day to day problem gamblers.
Statement of Principles under the Gambling Act
The District Council has a Gambling Licensing Policy called a Statement of Principles which sets out this authority’s approach to the licensing and administration of gambling licences under the Gambling Act 2005. A copy can be viewed and downloaded below. We recommend that all applicants read this policy before submitting an application.
New applicants are required to undertake and provide risk assessments in respect of the premises licence applications. Guidance on the relevant Local Area Profile For Hart and producing risk assessments can be found at section 2.7 of the Statements of Principles.
The Act introduces a number of safeguards against problem and child gambling such as:
- Restrictions have been placed on the gambling facilities permitted under different premises licences.
- Provision has been made for only one regional casino.
- There will be a three year trial of eight large casinos and eight small casinos before more can be licensed.
- All gambling operators will be required to abide by statutory codes of social responsibility.
- Promoting gambling to children, permitting children to gamble and allowing children into gambling premises have become offences.
- With certain exceptions, it is an offence for children to gamble or enter gambling premises.
- The Commission will publish a gambling prevalence report every three years.
- Premises licence conditions will be set by licensing authorities and Government.
- Licensing authorities will be responsible for regulating some lower stake operations and small society lotteries.
- Local authorities will be able to pass a motion as part of their planning policies vetoing new casinos in their area.