The council of South Tyneside are inviting consultation with both members of the public and gaming operators within their jurisdiction,ahead of a fresh draft of its statement of policy towards gambling regulation and public health required by the Gambling Act.
Sandwiched neatly between Newcastle and Sunderland,the South Shields-based governing body has welcomed public input throughout a ten-week consultation period ending September 30.
Under the Gambling Act, local authorities are required to make triennial reviews of how effectively they can mitigate gambling-related crime, maintain operational good-conduct,and negate the risk of harm to vulnerable players.
South Tyneside are by no means the first local council to invite public discourse ahead of a policy review, but they do break with custom in placing particular emphasis on hearing from AGC, bingo-hall and betting stakeholders for an operational perspective.
An early draft of the council’s proposed new policy is available on its website. In its current form, the paper details that measures under consideration for enforcement at local AGCs include proof of age schemes,mandatory door supervision and specified opening hours.
Reflecting the wider legislative imbalance, at present the council pre-sides over an area replete with betting-shops (12 as of last month) contending against a smaller contingent (seven) of AGCs.
Whatever form it takes, the new, finalised policy is set to come into effect as of January 30 next year.