Laura Sharman 06 April 2016

Councils back new regulations to reduce gambling harm

Councils back new regulations to reduce gambling harm image

Gambling operators will need to produce risk assessments to show how they are reducing harm in their local areas under new regulations that came into effect from today.

From today, all land-based gambling operators must show how they are helping to protect children or vulnerable people from the damage caused by gambling.

A Local Government Association spokesperson explained: 'Many local councils are producing local area risk profiles to assist businesses as they draw up their assessments – these will typically plot points of risk such as schools, treatment centres or areas of significant deprivation.

'We hope that the gambling industry collectively rises to the occasion and demonstrates its commitment to social responsibility and preventing risky gambling behaviour.'

Rob Burkitt, policy development manager from the Gambling Commission, outlined some examples of the type of risks that should be assessed. 'If there is a gambling premises adjacent to a bus stop which is used by college or school students between, say 3- 5 pm, the premises should ensure that staffing levels are adequate to mitigate the risk of underage access.

'If there is a gambling premises close to a homelessness hostel, the operator would ensure they have staff awareness training to ensure that homeless customers are not putting themselves at risk of harm.'

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