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Commission launches consultation on its 5th edition of Guidance to licensing authorities

30 March 2015

Following special events hosted by the Gambling Commission’s Local Authority Liaison Unit (LALU), the Commission has now published its proposed changes to Guidance to licensing authorities (GLA) in a new 5th edition.

The Commission is required to issue statutory guidance on the manner in which licensing authorities exercise their functions under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) (the Act), and GLA is the principal guidance to licensing authorities on gambling related matters.

Since the previous revision in September 2012, there have been a number of regulatory and legislative changes and the guidance has been updated to reflect those. More importantly, it reflects the considerable developments in partnership working between the Commission and licensing authorities and reinforces our positive shared approach to regulation.

Other drivers for the proposed amendments to the guidance are to:

  • reflect recent changes to the social responsibility provisions within the Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice
  • promote local partnership working between licensing authorities and local gambling operators to facilitate a coordinated approach to local issues
  • provide greater clarity about the wide range of powers afforded to licensing authorities to manage local gambling regulation through measures such as their statements of licensing policy.

The 5th edition starts with a strong narrative emphasising the role and powers of licensing authorities, and the benefits of partnership working and a coordinated response to local issues. It gives a mandate to licensing authorities to manage local gambling provision and sets out the extent of their discretion in that respect. The guidance reinforces the powers that licensing authorities have under s.153 of the Act, as well as encouraging the use of other statutory powers and involvement of other agencies.

Philip Graf, the Commission’s Chair, said:

“The revised guidance emphasises the critical role of each local licensing authority’s statement of licensing policy. This forms the mandate for licensing authorities to manage local gambling provision in a way that makes sense to their local communities and businesses. Licensing authorities’ assessment of risk, alongside new social responsibility requirements on operators to assess the local risks to the licensing objectives at each of their premises, will encourage the adoption of measures to specifically mitigate local risks”.

The consultation provides an opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the proposed changes and to make any other suggestions, including on future revisions of the guidance.

The Commission is keen to hear views from licensing authorities, gambling operators and those with an interest in the local regulation of gambling. The closing date for responses is 22 June 2015.

Note 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) (opens in new tab).
  3. See the Terms & Conditions section of our website for information on legal advice (opens in new tab).

For all media enquiries, please contact the Gambling Commission press office.

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