The licensing objectives
In exercising most of their functions under the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act), licensing authorities must have regard to the licensing objectives as set out in Section 1 of the Act. The licensing objectives are:
Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime
The Gambling Commission takes a lead role in preventing gambling from being a source of crime by vetting applicants for personal and operator licences. The Licensing Authority will however look at the location of the proposed premises in terms of this licensing objective.
Where an area is known for having high levels of crime or disorder the Licensing Authority will consider whether the premises are suitable to be located there and whether conditions such as the provision of door supervisors may be required.
There is a distinction between disorder and nuisance. Complaints about nuisance cannot be resolved through the Gambling Act 2005 however it may be possible to address problems of this nature through other types of legislation.
Factors such as whether police assistance was required and how threatening the behaviour was will be considered in determining whether the incident was disorder or nuisance.
Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
The Licensing Authority will not normally be concerned with ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way as this will ordinarily be addressed by the Gambling Commission through the granting of personal and operating licences.
Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling
This can mean preventing children from taking part in or being in close proximity to gambling.
There is no definition of the term "vulnerable person" but this could include people who are gambling beyond their means and people who may not be able to make informed or balanced decisions about gambling due to a mental impairment or to the use of alcohol and/or drugs.
The licensing authority is aware that, as per Section 153, in making decisions about premises licences and temporary use notices it should aim to permit the use of premises for gambling in so far as it is:
- In accordance with any relevant code of practice issued by the Gambling Commission;
- In accordance with any relevant guidance issued by the Gambling Commission;
- Reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives; and
- In accordance with the authority's statement of licensing policy.