Gambling Policy 2022
The Council is updating its gambling policy, and we want to know what you think.
Published: 24 September 2021
Last updated: 15 December 2021
Westminster has a vibrant leisure industry and gambling venues, from large casinos to small arcades, play their part in making Westminster an attractive destination for visitors. The council recognises that good management of its gambling industry, including its impact on residents, amenities, and the local environment, is essential to the continued success of the city. The council expects licensed operators to demonstrate best practice by being responsible, open, inclusive, and equal operators. It also recognises that there are some people within Westminster who may be vulnerable to gambling-related harm or suffer from problem gambling.
Local Area Profile for gambling within Westminster
In assessing the potential risks to residents who may be at greater risk of gambling related harm the Council has produced a Local Area Profile for gambling within Westminster. This document is intended to assist applicants in meeting the Council’s new Gambling Policy and to support residents and responsible authorities scrutinise applications for new or existing gambling premises.
We have produced a map that helps applicants, residents and other responsible authorities to view the locations of gambling premises, or where they are intended to be located within the City. This online tool should be considered alongside the Local Area Profile document.
Our proposed new Gambling Policy
Our Gambling Policy aims to ensure gambling is provided so as to achieve the licensing objectives of:
- prevent 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 key changes within our new policy include:
- a new risk assessment policy setting out the expectations and requirements associated with the assessment of gambling related risks of operating a gambling premises
- revised licensing objective policies that provide detailed requirements on applicants to ensure that their operation is reasonably consistent with licensing objectives
- a new hours policy has been developed to specify the hours for gambling operations within the City.
- three new spatial policies have been developed to focus the consideration of risks on the location and those who live, work and visitor the area to which a proposed gambling operation would relate
- new premises use policies for each of the gambling premises providing a significant number of policies that focus on the key considerations associated with the operation and management of those premises
- new policies associated with other gambling permissions, such as permits, notifications and registrations that provide greater detail on what applicants need to consider and put forward to obtain the relevant permission
- new policies associated with incidents, complaints or non-compliance that create a formalised policy approach to post serious incident assessments, review of gambling premises, the cancellations of gaming machine permits and removal of automatic entitlements for gambling
We were required to review and revise our Gambling Policy before the 30 January 2022 under the Gambling Act 2005. We carried out consultation on two proposals. The first was to make some minor revisions to the current version of the Gambling Policy which could be adopted so as to commence from the 31 January 2022 so as to meet the statutory deadline for publication of its policy. The second element of the consultation was on our proposal to publish a completely new version of the Gambling Policy in early 2022.
The consultation for the proposal to revise the current policy started on 27 September and closed on 17 October 2021.
We also commenced consultation on our intention to adopt the proposed New Gambling Policy from 27 September to 28 November 2021.
We adopted the revised version of the current Gambling Policy on the 10 November 2021 at a meeting of Full Council. It was agreed that the revised Gambling Policy would take effect from the 31 January 2022.
We are currently considering the responses that were received relating to the proposed new Gambling Policy. A report will be sent to a Council meeting in early 2022 to review the responses and any proposed changes before considering whether to adopt the proposed new Gambling Policy.