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Gambling premises licences

Volume 696: debated on Monday 24 May 2021

The petition of residents of the constituency of Enfield, Southgate,

Declares that the requirement to publish a notice of application for a gambling premises licence in local newspapers and to display a notice on the premises as required by Section 12 of the Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licence and Provisional Statements) Regulations 2007 is wholly inadequate for bringing such applications to the attention of members of the public and as such is in urgent need of reform; further that no additional provisions were made for these requirements to take into account the fact that the public were legally required not to venture outside except for certain specified purposes during coronavirus lockdown restrictions which disadvantaged their ability to view such notices; and further that gambling premises licences granted during the coronavirus lockdown restrictions should be subject to a review.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to take into account the concerns of the petitioners and take immediate action to ensure that Section 12 of the Gambling Act 2005 (Premises Licence and Provisional Statements) Regulations 2007 and other associated legislation is urgently revised and gambling premises licences granted during the coronavirus lockdown restrictions be subject to a review.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Bambos Charalambous, Official Report, 23 March 2021; Vol. 691, c. 893.]

[P002653]

Observations from The Minister for Media and Data (Mr John Whittingdale):

The Government acknowledge the unprecedented nature of the covid-19 pandemic and understand that lockdowns have limited the ability for some residents to frequent high street areas. We have introduced temporary planning regulations to supplement existing statutory publicity arrangements for planning applications in response to the pandemic. These temporary regulations apply to all premises applications, including gambling premises. Local planning authorities now have the flexibility to take other reasonable steps to publicise applications if they cannot discharge the specific requirements for site notices, neighbour notifications or newspaper publicity. These steps will notify people who are likely to have an interest in the application and indicate where further information about it can be viewed online. Channels can include the use of social media and other electronic communications, such as local online news portals, and must be proportionate to the scale and nature of the proposed development.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched a review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December 2020 and is currently in the process of reviewing the evidence received. The review will be wide- ranging and a White Paper is set to be published later this year.